Microsoft has announced that it is tightening online security by banning users from using easy passwords.
The news follows the recent news that 117 million LinkedIn user’s credentials were leaked.
The data revealed by LinkedIn seems to have prompted the move with some of the most popular passwords still being “123456”, “linkedin”, “football”, “password” and “qwerty”.
Alex Weinert from Microsoft’s Identity Protection Team said that Microsoft fends of 10 million attacks a day and collects all passwords guessed by hackers.
He added “We analyse the passwords that are being used most commonly. Bad guys use this data to inform their attacks,” he wrote. “What *we* do with the data is prevent you from having a password anywhere near the current attack list, so those attacks won’t work.”
The new service will work on Microsoft Accounts including Outlook and Azure AD and prevent users from suing the most commonly used passwords meaning that you are less likely to get hacked.
Microsoft will also implement a “smart password lockout” system that will only lockout hackers.
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The company will be able to determine the risk associated with a specific login but if you are using your own device or internet network that you have used before you will still be allowed access.
As we revealed recently, password length requirements and regularly changing your password to make them more secure are all fallacies and actually make your password easier to crack.
One of the simplest ways to access someone’s online account is to guess a password, and hacking software tends to try the most common ones first.
Many passwords are shared between different accounts so once hackers have cracked one, they have likely cracked them all including social media and online banking.