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  • PassGAN can crack 65% of popular passwords in less than an hour

    If you think you have a strong password, it's time to think again. New research from Home Security Heroes shows how quickly and easily artificial intelligence (AI) can crack your password.

    The researchers used PassGAN, a generative adversarial network (GAN) based password generator. PassGAN differs from other password generators in that it does not rely on manual password analysis. On the contrary, the PassGAN mode, as its name suggests, uses GAN to study real password leaks and generate realistic passwords. GAN is a machine learning (ML) model that matches two neural networks (generator and discriminator) against each other to improve the accuracy of predictions.

    In short, the generator creates fake data to fool the discriminator. Meanwhile, the job of the discriminator is to distinguish the real data from the fake data generated by the generator. It becomes a game of cat and mouse, with both networks benefiting from constant arguing. The generator is constantly being improved to create better fake data, and the discriminator is better at distinguishing real data from fake data.

    PassGAN tool uses 15,680,000 common passwords from the RockYou dataset to train the model. For those who have never heard of RockYou, it was the developer of widgets for popular social networks such as MySpace or Facebook. Hackers hacked into RockYou in 2009, stealing the data of over 32 million users because the company kept the data in an unencrypted database. The RockYou dataset eventually became a popular option for training ML password cracking models.

    The study showed that PassGAN was able to crack 51% of popular passwords in less than one minute, 65% in less than an hour, 71% in less than a day, and 81% in less than a month.

    In addition, the research team presented the results of their findings in a table. As you can see in the image below, almost every password of six characters or less has been cracked instantly. According to the organization, passwords longer than 18 characters are considered safe by tools like PassGAN. According to the table, the tool will take at least ten months to calculate an 18-character password that uses only numbers.

    Analysts advise using at least 15 characters in the password, which should include at least two letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols. In addition, you should avoid obvious patterns, even if they match all the required character lengths and types, and change your password every 3-6 months.

    On the research results page, there is a tool that can be used to evaluate the strength of a password against possible AI hacking. The company declares that the data entered in this field is not stored or transmitted, and there is no reason not to trust them.

    Author DeepWeb
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