Bad grammar 'may be key to choosing good computer passwords'

Computer passwords

Good grammar helps people make themselves be understood when writing or speaking, but when used to concoct a long computer password, grammar good or bad provides crucial hints that can help someone crack that password, researchers say.

Ashwini Rao and his colleagues from the Carnegie Mellon University researched the current generation of password cracking systems.

They found that many people, on being asked to choose longer passwords, made them just as easy to guess, the Daily Mail reported.

"Use of long sentence-like or phrase-like passwords such as 'abiggerbetterpassword' and 'thecommunistfairy' is increasing," the researchers said.

The researchers said that other types of familiar structures like postal addresses, email addresses and URLs may also make for less secure passwords, even if they are long.

They said bad grammar can make a huge difference, as hackers are increasingly searching for passwords using correct grammar and spellings in 'brute force' attacks that simply run through combinations of words in a dictionary.

Incorrect spelling and grammar can fool many of these attacks, the team found.

They found that in general, asking users for longer passwords didn't work.

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