in HIPAA Headlines by John Brewer

Thanks to the recent issue of cell phone voice mail hacking, we get to talk some more about password strength.

The Wall Street Journal just had an article about cell phone hacks.

You can see a previous article written on password buffoonery here.

What is interesting to note with voice mail is typically they are just 4 digits (just like your ATM PIN).

Guess what the most popular voicemail PIN is?

The same digit 4 time!! (like 0000,1111, etc).

The second most popular is a year, actually from 1900 to 2011.

– Warning: Nerd Talk –

A phone/ATM password that contains 4 digits and is limited to the keypad of 0-9 has 10,000 possible combinations.  An 8 character password possibly containing upper/lower case (while NOT including special characters) has more than 200 trillion possible 8-character combinations.

When there is no requirement to make a password “hard” people don’t.

Your office must has a policy on exactly how passwords should be generated, how often they should be changed and who should know what they are (only the user).

Oh, when was the last time you changed your ATM or voice mail PIN?

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