Posted By RichC on February 14, 2007
Security on personal computers could be under more risk that most of us assume, if a recent Dark Reading article is correct. A study by the University of Maryland reports that the average computer on the Internet is attacked every 39 seconds. Interestingly most of the attacks are of the brute force style, looking for weak user names and weak passwords.
The article reports, “many attackers used dictionary scripts to guess the usernames and passwords. “Root” was the top username guess, attempted twelve times as often as “admin,” the second-most guessed password. Attackers also looked for other obvious and popular usernames, such as “test,” “guest,” “info,” “adm,” “user,” “mysql,” “oracle,” and “administrator.” To crack the password, the attackers would re-enter or attempt variations of the username. About 43 percent of the attempts were re-entering the username, and other combinations included username plus “123.”
Perhaps the best advice comes from the man who headed up the study, Michel Cukier, who says that weak passwords are still a major target of attackers. “If you don’t do something about this, you have a high probability of being attacked.”