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Alarming Research Claims There Are Over 24 Billion Usernames And Passwords Have Been Leaked On The Dark Web

The dark web is currently hosting more than 24 billion usernames and their related password combinations. This terrifying information was recently unveiled by the Digital Shadows study who claims the facts and figures are definitely a matter worth looking into.

If you can actually think of it as a matter where the cybercriminal marketplace houses at least four different names for every human present on the earth. And if that was not shocking enough, there is more news on how the figure shows a massive 65% rise from reports hailing from 2020.

Despite the threats and risks relating to this matter running at an all-time high, internet users are still failing to understand the seriousness of the matter. This is proved by the fact that they’re using passwords that anyone can guess like the term password itself or a set of figures that anyone would be able to come up with.

The study also shed light on how some of the world’s most famous passwords were more than simple to correctly guess and we’re not kidding when we say that people are still relying on 123456 for their passwords.

Other common passwords included qwerty and 1q2w3e. And out of the 50 most commonly delineated passcodes, more than 49 could be cracked in just one second. This has to do with the advent of modern technology where simple tools can be used on some criminal platforms that don’t cost a dime or even if they do, the costs are limited to a bare minimum.

The study is also sharing some great tips on how users can strengthen even the simplest of passwords through the addition of a particular symbol or character like @ or _ to any 10-letter password. While it may seem to be a simple maneuver, you actually end up adding 90 extra minutes to crack this new code.

And if you increase that by adding two special symbols, the time taken to crack the code could increase by about 2 days and up to 4 hours. Therefore, the chances of you falling prey to a scam that involves criminals trying to hack your device will be greatly reduced.

The dark web was also outlined as the most commonly designated area where you’d find threat actors promoting credentials that were stolen by them and then it being sold off to other interested parties. There are also various forums known for this illegal activity, as stated in the research.

Similarly, the research has shed light on how much this illegal practice has expanded in the past two years, citing great fears for a huge outbreak if the matter is not controlled now and allowed to progress further.

More and more hackers are making use of the most sophisticated malware in the industry which they can access with great ease. And that is what makes everything so much worse. On average, the study talks about how it had managed to alert about 6.8 million cases pertaining to users having stolen credentials, only in the past 16 to 18 months.

This happens to be one of the many reasons why so many leading tech companies are promoting and working on a passwordless future because only then can we have a safe escape from issues like these.

But until and unless that does happen, we need to be more vigilant and take the necessary precautions because the matter blows up further. And for starts, ridding weak passwords is the first step to success. Remember, there are sophisticated tools available that decode passwords in seconds so the harder the code, the less likely the chances of it being breached.

Another common strategy is to avoid having the same password for multiple accounts, which many of us are guilty of doing because of ease of remembrance.

Some tech analysts suggest making use of password managers which are apps that help you design touch passwords while others recommend using multi-factor methods for authentication like fingerprints, pins, or a USB key. Others go as far as using your face for recognition.

There are also authenticator apps available now that produce passwords comprising six codes every 30 seconds, during which users need to enter as a part of the authentication process.
Read next: How Five Countries Have Been Spying on You for Decades

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