So, You Want to See Some Strong Passwords?

Computer in dark office with password screen
Dimitri Otis/Stone/Getty Images


(continued from What Is Dictionary/Brute Force Hacking?)

Here are example passwords that discourage 'brute force' dictionary cracking:

OK Password:Better Password:Excellent Password:
kitty1Kitty1Ki77y
susanSusan53.Susan53
jellyfishjelly22fishjelly22fi$h
smellycatsm3llycat$m3llycat
allblacksa11Blacksa11Black$
usher!usher!ush3r
ebay44ebay.44&ebay.44
deltagammadeltagamm@d3ltagamm@
ilovemypiano       !LoveMyPiano!Lov3MyPiano
SterlingSterlingGmail2015   SterlingGmail20.15
BankLoginBankLogin13BankLogin!3
ShelbyShelbyPass1Shelby.Pass1.
RolltideRollTide%

RollTide%.%

StarWars$tarwarz$tar|warz
   
   

Why are some passwords stronger than others?

A strong password resists guessing.  Hackers and computer intruders will use automated software as a way to submit hundreds of guesses per minute to open your online account.  These software tools are called 'dictionary' or 'brute force repetition' tools, because they will use English dictionaries to sequentially guess your password.

For example, a dictionary tool will submit sequential guesses like this:

  1. Dog
  2. Dogs
  3. Dogcatcher
  4. Dogcatchers
  5. Dogberry
  6. Dogberries
  7. Dogma
  8. Dogmatic
  9. Dogmatized
  10. Dog1
  11. Dog2
  12. Dog3
  13. Dog4

 

These password-guessing tools can submit up to 1000 attempts per minute.  The less that your password resembles regular English word patterns, the longer it will take for a repetition tool to guess it.

Beating dictionary programs: use non-English word combinations.

These password variations below purposely avoid using complete English word patterns.  By injecting numbers and special characters instead of letters, these passwords will take exponentially longer to guess by a dictionary program:

  1. Dog.lov3r
  2. dOG.lov3r
  3. i7ovemydog!!
  4. d0gsaremybestfr13nds
  5. sn00pdoggyd0G
  6. Karm@beatsDogm@
  7. C@ts-and-Dogs-Living-together

 

Next: 5 Steps to Conjuring Your Own (Almost Unbreakable) Password...

Related: Read more about dictionary hacking tools here.

Other Popular Articles at About.com:

 

Related Articles:

More From Us