A complete guide for SSL, TLS and certificates

Latest — Jan 12, 2023

Of course you want to keep your data safe. So why are so many security precautions frequently overlooked? Many accounts, for example, are protected by weak passwords, making it easy for hackers to do their work. There is a fine line between selecting a password that no one can guess and selecting a password that is easy to remember. As a result, we will examine this topic in depth today and ensure that you no longer need to click on the "lost password" link.

What exactly is a strong password?

So let's begin with a definition. A secure password is one that cannot be guessed or broken by an intruder.

Computers are utilized by hackers in order to try out various combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols. Passwords that are only a few characters long and consist entirely of letters and digits are easy for modern computers to crack in a couple of seconds. Because of this, it is vital to utilize robust combinations of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters in one password. There is a minimum length requirement of 12 characters for passwords, although using a longer password is strongly encouraged.

To summarize the attributes of a secure password, they are as follows:

•  At least 12 characters are required. The more complicated your password, the better.

•  Upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters are included. Such passwords are more difficult to crack.

•  Does not contain keyboard paths

•  It is not based on your personal information

•  Each of your accounts has its own password

You have undoubtedly observed that a variety of websites "care" about the security level of your password. When you are making an account, you will frequently see tooltips that remind you to include a particular amount of characters, as well as numbers and letters. Weak passwords have a far higher chance of being disapproved by the system. Keep in mind that, for reasons related to your security, you should never use the same password for several accounts.

A secure password should be unique

You may use a strong password for all of your accounts after you've created one. However, doing so will leave you more exposed to assaults. If a hacker obtains your password, they will be able to access whatever account you used it for, including email, social media, and work accounts.

According to surveys, many people use the same password because it is easier to remember. Don't worry, there are several tools available to assist you with managing multiple passwords. We'll get to them later.

While adding special characters in passwords is an excellent approach to increase their security, not all accounts accept all characters. However, in most scenarios, the following are used: ! " #% & *, / : | $ ; ': _? ().

Here are some examples of strong passwords that make use of special characters:

•  P7j12$# eBT1cL@Kfg

•  $j2kr^ALpr!Kf#ZjnGb#

Ideas for creating a strong password

Fortunately, there are several methods for creating unique and secure passwords for each of your accounts. Let's go over each one in detail:

1. Use a password generator/password manager

If you don't have the time to come up with secure passwords, a password generator that can also serve as a manager is a very simple and straightforward solution that you may use.

2. Choose a phrase, not a word

Passwords are significantly less secure than passphrases since they are often lengthier and more difficult to guess or crack. Instead of a word, pick a phrase and use the first letters, digits, and punctuation from that phrase to generate an apparently random combination of characters. Experiment with different wording and punctuation.

Here are some examples of how the passphrases  technique may be used to generate secure passwords:

•  I first went to Disneyland when I was four years old and it made me happy: I1stw2DLwIw8yrs&immJ

•  My friend Matt ate six donuts at a bakery cafe and it cost him £10: MfMa6d@tbc&ich£10

3. Pick a more unique option

Open a dictionary or book and select a random word, or better yet, many. Combine them with numbers and symbols to make it far more difficult for a hacker to decipher.

As an example:

•  Sand, fork, smoke, okay — Sand%fork9smoke/okay37

4. Experiment with phrases and quotes

If you need a password that is difficult for others to guess but easy for you to remember, try variants on a phrase or statement that means something to you. Simply choose a memorable sentence and replace parts of the letters with numbers and symbols.

For example:

•  “For the first time in forever”: Disney’s Frozen: 4da1stTymein4eva-Frozen

5. Make use of emojis

You may always use emoticons to add symbols to your passwords without making them difficult to remember. You can't add emojis, but you can attempt emoticons made out of punctuation marks, characters, and/or numbers.

For example:

•  \_(ツ)_/¯

•  (>^_^)> <(^_^<)

•  (~.~) (o_O)

What should I do after I have created a password?

1. Set passwords for specific accounts

You'll still need to generate a unique password for each of your accounts once you've created a strong password that you can remember. Instead of creating several new ones, you may include the name of the platform you use at the end. For example, if your password was nHd3#pHAuFP8, just add the word EMa1l to the end of your email address to get nHd3#pHAuFP8EMa1l.

2. Make your password a part of your muscle memory

If you want to be able to recall your password, typing it out several times can help you do so. You will be able to memorize information far more easily as a result of the muscle memory that you will develop.

How to keep your passwords safe?

1. Choose a good password manager

Use a trustworthy password manager whether you're setting your own safe passwords or looking for an internet service to handle it for you. It creates, saves, and manages all of your passwords in a single safe online account. All you have to do is put all your account passwords in the application and then safeguard them with one "master password". This means you just have to remember a single strong password.

2. Use two-factor authentication

You've heard it before, but we'll say it again. Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an additional level of protection. Even if someone steals your password, you can prevent them from accessing your account. This is often a one-time code supplied to you by text message or other means. Receiving an SMS, by the way, is not the most secure method since a hacker might obtain your mobile phone number in a SIM swap fraud and gain access to your verification code.

Apps using two-factor authentication are far more secure. Google Authenticator, for example, or Microsoft Authenticator.

3. Passwords should not be saved on your phone, tablet, or computer

Although it might not be immediately visible, this is a common approach for people to save their passwords. That should not be done. Your files, emails, messenger conversations, and notes may all be hacked.

4. Keep your password confidential

Even if you completely trust the person to whom you are handing your password, sending it in a text message or email is risky. Even if you speak it aloud or write it down on paper, someone who is interested can overhear you and take notes behind you.

How to create a secure password

Jan 10, 2023 — 4 min read

Ransomware assaults are something that all of us have been keeping an eye on for some time. According to the most recent findings, over 21 percent of companies throughout the world were victims of ransomware attacks in 2022. 43% of these had a substantial influence on the way in which their business activities were carried out.

It’s true that cybercrime is on the rise, and those who commit these crimes are going after both individuals and businesses. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the types of cyber threats that will be prevalent in 2023.

The purpose of this article is to familiarize you with the most important developments in the field of cybersecurity that are expected to take place in 2023. There are a lot of different things to keep an eye on here, from emerging malware to security solutions based on artificial intelligence. In this section, we will discuss the potential effects of these trends on the future of cybersecurity and the steps you can take to better defend yourself.

1. The Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud security

It's critical to stay up to date on the newest cybersecurity developments in an ever-changing technological context. As more firms utilize cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the importance of adequate security measures grows.

When it comes to IoT and cloud security, it is critical to recognize the particular dangers that these technologies entail. One of the most serious concerns about IoT devices, for example, is that they are frequently "always on," leaving them exposed to external assaults. Similarly, if security mechanisms are not adequately established, cloud services might be accessible to hackers.

It is critical to have robust security procedures for your IoT devices and cloud services in order to keep your organization secure. This includes adopting strong passwords on all devices, enabling multi-factor authentication for access control, and ensuring that any data saved in the cloud is encrypted.

As businesses and consumers rely more on cloud computing and software solutions, the requirement for effective security becomes even more critical. When compared to traditional on-premises solutions, SaaS security solutions provide rapid scale-up or scale-out based on demand and cost savings. These solutions are also well suited for working with remote or dispersed teams where several business components may be located all over the world.

Data protection, identity and access management, web application firewalls, and mobile device security are all available through Security as a Service (SECaaS) solutions. They also provide managed services, which allow customers to delegate the monitoring and maintenance of their cloud security systems to qualified specialists. This helps guard against dangers like malware and ransomware while also keeping businesses up to date on the newest security developments.

3. Increased security for remote and hybrid employees

As the world continues to migrate to remote and hybrid work arrangements, cybersecurity must change to meet these new needs. Organizations must safeguard their systems and train their staff with cyberthreat defenses as their dependence on technology and access to sensitive data grows.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA), which requires multiple authentication stages to validate a user's identity before giving access to systems or data, is one security protocol that organizations should consider using. MFA can offer an extra degree of security against attackers who use stolen credentials to gain access to accounts.

Businesses should also consider adopting rules and processes to ensure the security of their workers' devices. This may involve offering safe antivirus software and encrypted virtual private networks (VPNs) for remote connectivity to employees. Employees must also be trained on the significance of using strong and unique passwords for each account, alongside the risks of connecting to public networks.

4. Machine learning and artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have grown in popularity in the realm of cybersecurity in recent years. AI and machine learning (ML) offer automated threat detection and enhanced security processes, making them effective instruments in the battle against cyberattacks. Organizations may employ AI and machine learning to proactively detect and avoid dangers as these technologies evolve.

AI and machine learning can assist in the rapid and accurate analysis of vast volumes of data, enabling more effective threat identification and prevention. For example, AI may detect harmful or suspicious network activities, such as increased traffic from a certain source or trends in user behavior. Organizations can also use machine learning algorithms to identify abnormalities and prioritize warnings that may signal a possible breach.

Furthermore, AI and machine learning can automate key cybersecurity operations like patch management, malware detection, and compliance checks. Organizations can save time and money that would otherwise be spent on manual processes. Furthermore, the application of AI and machine learning may assist businesses in lowering the risk of false positives and ensuring that only the most critical security incidents are highlighted.

5. Creating a Safe Culture

Businesses in today's environment must cultivate a culture of safety. Security cannot be handled after the fact or as a one-time job. It should be the organization's fundamental value, ingrained in all parts of its operations. This implies that everyone in the business must be informed of current cybersecurity trends and understand how to secure their data.

Employee training and checks and balances should be part of a safe culture. All personnel should be trained in the fundamentals of Internet security, as well as how to utilize systems and software safely. Policies, systems, and processes should be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure they are in compliance with the most up-to-date security guidelines.

Conclusion

As technology advances, cybersecurity risks and patterns will alter. Businesses must keep ahead of the curve by monitoring emerging trends and updating their security measures as needed. Organizations can secure their data and networks from intruders by staying up to date with the newest 5 cybersecurity trends in 2023.

Organizations may maintain the security of their data by keeping with the times on trends and implementing the required safeguards. Furthermore, they should work to educate their personnel on the need to adhere to best practices in cybersecurity. This will aid in the creation of a secure environment and reduce the likelihood of hacking.

5 key cybersecurity trends to watch in 2023

Jan 10, 2023 — 4 min read

The film industry in general isn't recognized for its commitment to truth, and Hollywood's depiction of biometric technology is no exception. The use of technologies such as fingerprint scanners, face recognition software, and iris recognition technology has become increasingly frequent in a variety of films to portray dramatic and high-tech images of the future.

Let's take a more in-depth look at the way biometrics are portrayed in movies, and what of what we see there is science fiction and what is a reality that most people probably know very little about.

Biometrics in Hollywood blockbusters

First, we ought to define biometrics and how biometric characteristics may be used to identify people. Biometrics refers to the identification of a person utilizing a character's unique physical and behavioral features. Each individual has some quantitative and fixed markers that do not vary over time or alter very minimally. These signs are so distinct that they may identify one individual from another.

In addition to the well-known DNA, fingerprints, and face, unique biometric characteristics include the pupil/iris of the eye, palm print, hand print, scent, "pattern" of veins on the fingers and palm, and so on.

Many biometric parameters of a person may be used by modern technology for identifying people, but they vary in cost, speed, and accuracy of usage. Biometric technologies are often used to control access to important objects or to identify criminals. These aspects are well-represented in films, including, of course, Bond movies.

Skyfall

In one of the Bond films — "Skyfall", a security camera in the London Underground is used to search for an individual’s face.

The film shows how the biometric identification system scans and validates faces with security cameras before recommending the "best fit" solutions. Bond was readily located since his face was uncovered, he was facing the crowd, and the camera easily recognized him. However, the situation was more complex while looking for an intruder among the crowd – in a hat pulled practically over the eyes, it is nearly impossible to recognize a person. To calculate its algorithm, the system must "see" the entire face (which includes data such as the distance between the eyes, the distance from the eyes to the lips, etc.). The technology recognizes the intruder when he raises his head and the camera "sees" his eyes.

It should be underlined that this is not only possible, but it already works in reality.

Demolition Man

The amputation of body parts (from one person) to identify and get access to top-secret things by another person or to collect information is the next iteration of biometrics that is frequently exploited in movies. The film "Demolition Man" is one example of an eye being removed and used.

In reality, this doesn't work. Because the majority of today's technologies are created with a "live" identification mechanism (pulse, reflexes, temperature, humidity coefficient, etc.), it is not possible to identify a dead portion of the body using these methods. Those who use fingerprint readers in their day-to-day lives can attest to the fact that the performance of the gadget is significantly diminished during the winter months because the fingers freeze.

In addition to the built-in mechanism that was just described, there is also a biological limitation: a severed finger is considered "invalid" after approximately ten minutes; an amputated eyeball decomposes rather quickly, and the pupil spreads out, making it unsuitable for use as a unique identifier; the eyeball also decomposes rather quickly.

Minority Report

Developing the topic of biometric authentication with the help of the eyes, it is worth noting that an eye transplant procedure is a common approach in filmmaking for changing identity and gaining access to something. The film "Minority Report" is one such example.

Eye surgeons are unlikely to transplant an entire eyeball, owing to the inutility of such a procedure. For the eye to operate, the optic nerve must also work, which cannot be "stitched on" (much as a brain transplant cannot be performed), at least not yet. An eyeball transplant procedure is theoretically conceivable, but this eye will be unable to see, which is why nothing like this is done. We can only guess whether such an eye may be utilized for biometric identification.

Back to the Future 2

One of the most prophetic and reliable films in the field of biometric technology was "Back to the Future 2"

The video depicts the active usage of biometric technology multiple times. To begin, this is the identification of a person using fingerprints (instead of, say, a passport). Remember how the cops fingerprinted Jennifer Parker, who was sedated by Doc prior to "arriving" in 2015? Secondly, the officers used the same fingerprint to enter Jennifer's Hill Dale home. Thirdly, payment for products and services was using biometrics rather than credit cards: elderly Biff pays for a cab by merely putting his finger on a biometric sensor.

Conclusion

In each of these three counts, the authors have made excellent points. You are required to leave your biometric data in order to receive a visa to enter the United States, the European Union, and some other countries. These biometric data might be in the form of fingerprints or retinal scans. Of course, not all US residents have had their fingerprints taken yet.

In addition, payments made using a customer's fingerprint have already started to become more commonplace in the banking industry. The widespread Apple Pay service is a good illustration of this point. To validate the transaction, all that is required of you is to scan your fingerprint by pressing a single button that is located on the front of your smartphone. In newer models, you simply have to scan your face.

Last but not least, a number of firms have already introduced door locks that can be opened using a fingerprint. One of Samsung's many business divisions focuses on "Smart Home" goods, one of which is the production of electronic door locks.

Science fiction from films is clearly becoming a reality; certainly, the imagination and ingenuity displayed by writers and filmmakers may be what pushes scientists to research and bring that vision into reality.

Biometric technology has a bright future. This confirms that the most tempestuous and impossible visions of filmmakers in the early 2000s or the 1980s are not the future; rather, they are becoming normal in everyday life.

Biometrics in Hollywood movies: fantasy or reality?

Jan 9, 2023 — 5 min read

Since the time of the Roman Empire, people have been able to use encryption to keep their communications private. When the Roman emperor Gaius Julius Caesar was penning an important message, he would sometimes replace a letter in the source text with another letter that was positioned three characters to the left or right of the original letter in the alphabet. This practice dates back to well before our period. If the communication was intercepted by his adversaries, they would not be able to decipher it since they would think it was written in some other language. This method of concealment was known as the Caesar cipher, and it was categorized alongside the other substitution ciphers. The substitution ciphers' overarching strategy is to change the meaning of a character by using a different character.

However, in encrypted messages, common terms were replaced by a single letter, eliminating the possibility of substitution. In this manner, Mary Stuart, imprisoned in Sheffield Castle, communicated with Anthony Babington about the conspiracy and Elizabeth's death. This is a part of that letter.

Indeed, Elizabeth's counterintelligence department, commanded by Francis Walsingham, intercepted the letter, which was quickly decrypted by Elizabeth's greatest cryptanalyst, Thomas Fellipes. How did he manage it? Through an analysis of frequencies.

All letters appear in the language with varying frequency. As a result, you just need to define the percentage of characters in the text that will be replaced by a certain character, and it will take some time to substitute and test hypotheses. This is called frequency analysis. It only works on somewhat long texts, and the longer the text, the better.

Anthony Babington was hung, drawn and quartered, Mary Stuart was beheaded, and the process of letter replacement was no longer deemed secure. However, an antidote to frequency analysis was discovered immediately. It is sufficient to utilize several encryption methods: encrypt one string with one, and the other with another, and frequency analysis will be rendered ineffective.

Since then, there has been an ongoing race between encryption and cipher cracking.

The cracking of the Enigma cipher machine used by Nazi Germany to safeguard military and political communications is the most notable feat in breaking encryption algorithms. By the standards of the time, it was a superb encryption device, on which the brightest brains in Germany collaborated. But deciphering the encryption required no less of a force: a team of British cryptographers collaborated with the young scientist Alan Turing.

Despite the cloak of secrecy, his name is linked to the selection of the key that could unlock the Enigma. Indeed, the key was a seemingly mundane Hitler greeting, which had to be included at the conclusion of every piece of correspondence. Alan Turing accomplished the impossible by providing his country with a crucial advantage during World War II.

Modern algorithms like AES, Twofish, and Blowfish differ significantly from substitution or the displacement of letters, as well as Enigma ciphers. Furthermore, they have nothing to do with them and are immune to brute-force and frequency analysis attacks. One thing stays constant, however: there are still individuals who wish to hack them and decipher encrypted messages. Nowadays, the availability of such a dependable data protection instrument cannot help but bother those who wish to acquire access to any information of special services.

Methods of attacks on ciphers by intelligence agencies

Today, intelligence agencies use three primary methods to attack ciphers.

Direct key selection to ciphers

Data centers that use brute force to break encrypted data are being created for this purpose. You can crack practically any contemporary encryption by brute force; simply guess the key (which is generally logical: if there is any key, in theory, sooner or later it can be guessed). The only question is how much power you have and how much time you have. For example, whereas a single contemporary computer can check 10,000 keys per second on average, a data center of thousands of machines may match tens of millions of keys per second.

Fortunately, cracking a powerful cipher can take more than a dozen years in a contemporary data center, and it is impossible to envision what has to be done so that a whole data center is engaged in cracking your encrypted data. After all, a single day in a data center costs tens of thousands of dollars. Because of the expense of resources, a basic password selection using a dictionary is generally done.

This was the situation with Daniel Dantas, a Brazilian banker who was detained in Rio de Janeiro in July 2008 on accusations of financial fraud. Five hard discs with encrypted data were discovered during a search of his flat. Local specialists were unable to break them and went to the FBI for assistance. The FBI returned the CDs after a year of futile attempts. The method of picking a password using a dictionary was utilized for hacking. Daniel Dantas devised a strong password that would be immune to dictionary assaults. It is unclear whether this aided him in court, but access to his encrypted data was never acquired. He utilized TrueCrypt, an encryption application, by the way.

Aside from data centers, there is an ongoing development of a quantum computer that has the potential to drastically revolutionize modern cryptography. If cryptographers' forecasts come true, it will be easy to crack any current crypto container very fast following the advent of such a supercomputer. Some scientists believe that such a supercomputer has already been developed and is located someplace in the hidden cellars of the US National Security Agency.

The second attack method is a scientific study of modern encryption algorithms with the aim of breaking them

A lot of money is being invested in this business, and such decisions are truly invaluable for special services and intelligence. Here, researchers compete with intelligence agencies. If researchers break the protocol or discover a weakness early on, the rest of the world is likely to learn about it and switch to more secure methods. If they are discovered by intelligence agencies, they are discreetly utilized to obtain access to encrypted data.

A 768-bit RSA key was regarded as an entirely reliable solution ten years ago, and it was utilized by private users, huge corporations, and governments. However, a consortium of engineers from Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States successfully computed data encrypted using a 768-bit RSA cryptographic key at the end of 2009. The usage of 1024-bit RSA keys was suggested. However, 1024-bit RSA keys are no longer deemed strong enough either.

The third attack method is a collaboration with device, program, and encryption algorithm creators to weaken encryption and add backdoors

It is sufficiently difficult for special services to decrypt a correctly encrypted crypto container, so instead, they try to bargain with firms producing encryption tools so that the latter leaves decryption flaws or degrades the algorithms utilized. The US’ NSA is ahead of the rest of the world in this regard. According to Edward Snowden's allegations, the American creator of cryptographic technology RSA Security was paid $ 10 million by the NSA to build a backdoor into its software. RSA Security provided its clients with the notoriously flawed Dual EC DRBG pseudo-random number generation technique for this money. Because of this flaw, US spy services were able to readily decode communications and information.

We don't know what additional backdoors exist in encryption algorithms today, but we do know that decrypting information is one of intelligence services' top goals. High-level professionals are continually working on it, and governments are pouring money into it. It is well known that the majority of efforts are focused on cracking SSL protocols, 4G security technologies, and VPNs.

The history of encryption. Confrontation of encryption and intelligence agencies.

Dec 16, 2022 — 4 min read

The creation of a file made out of human DNA that is capable of retaining terabytes of information is a very real future for scientists.

To this day, humanity has produced around 10 trillion gigabytes of data, and on a daily basis, people generate emails, photographs, films, and other information that add up to another 2.5 million gigabytes. A significant portion of this information is kept in exabyte data centers, which have the footprint of several football fields and have an annual operating cost of one billion dollars. However, researchers have developed an alternate strategy, which consists of a section of DNA that is able to store vast quantities of information in a compact shape.

According to Mark Bath, a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, you could hypothetically put all of the data in the world into a coffee cup full of DNA.

The DNA molecule is an ideal storage device for digital data

"We need innovative methods to store the massive volumes of data that are growing throughout the world," says Mark Bath. "DNA is a thousand times denser than any flash drive, and it also has the fascinating virtue of not using energy. Anything may be written into DNA and stored indefinitely " he continues.

Text, images, and any other type of information are all encoded as a series of zeros and ones when saved to digital storage devices. The same information may be encoded in DNA using the four nucleotides that make up the genetic code, which is designated by the letters A, T, G, and C. For instance, the numbers 0 and 1 can be represented by the letters G and C, respectively.

DNA possesses various characteristics that make it a good information carrier:

•  DNA is very stable

•  DNA is relatively simple to synthesize and sequence

•  DNA is highly dense, each nucleotide corresponding to two bits is around 1 cubic nanometer. An exabyte can fit in the palm of your hand.

However, there is a drawback. The expense of producing such enormous amounts of DNA is huge. Recording one petabyte of data (1 million gigabytes) now costs $1 trillion. According to Bath, the cost of synthesis needs to be decreased by around six orders of magnitude before creating archives based on a biological polymer becomes economical. According to the expert, this is entirely feasible in 10-20 years.

Another difficulty is obtaining the needed file.

"What happens if technology advances to the point where it is economically feasible to write an exabyte or zettabyte of data into DNA? You'll have a pile of DNA containing millions of photographs, texts, videos, programs, and other data, and you'll need to locate a certain file: how will you accomplish it?" Bath inquires.

It's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

How are files encoded?

At this time, the PCR is the most common method for obtaining DNA files (polymerase chain reaction). Each file contains a sequence that is designed to bind to a particular PCR primer (a primer is a short piece of nucleic acid). Each primer is introduced to the sample individually in order to locate the necessary sequence in order to extract a particular file. However, one of the drawbacks of using this method is that it increases the likelihood of a phenomenon known as crosstalk occurring between the primer and the DNA sequences, which can lead to the loss of some files. In addition, the synthesis process of PCR calls for enzymes and results in the loss of a considerable amount of DNA. You sort of have to burn a haystack to locate a needle.

The problem was solved by Professor Bath and his colleagues when they encapsulated each file in a silica particle measuring 6 micrometers and included a brief DNA sequence that indicated what was contained within the file. The researchers were able to retrieve individual photos that were saved as DNA sequences from a batch of 20 files by using this method, which resulted in an accuracy rate of one hundred percent. It is conceivable to scale up to a sextillion files given the number of potential labels that may be utilized. By the way, a sextillion is a number that consists of one and 20 zeros following it.

Hack DNA to find the right file

The team at MIT devised a novel extraction approach by isolating each file in a silica particle as an alternate option. Each such "capsule" is labeled with a single string of "barcodes" relating to the file's contents, such as "cat", "airplane", and so on. The researchers encoded 20 distinct pictures into DNA segments around 3,000 nucleotides long, which is comparable to about 100 bytes, to show their method in a cost-effective manner. (They also demonstrated that data as large as a gigabit might fit within the capsules).

When the researchers sought to extract a specific image, they deleted the DNA sample and replaced it with primers that matched the labels they were seeking — "cat", "red", and "wild" for a tiger shot, or "cat", "orange", and "domestic" for a domestic cat photo. The primers are then tagged with fluorescent or magnetic particles, making it simple to extract and identify any files while leaving the remainder of the DNA intact for eventual storage. This strategy is comparable to looking for terms on Google.

"So far, the search speed is one kilobyte per second. The size of the data per capsule determines the search speed of our file system. It is also worth mentioning that the speed is constrained by the prohibitively high cost of writing even 100 gigabytes of data per DNA, as well as the number of sorters that may be used concurrently.

"If DNA synthesis gets cheap enough, we can optimize the quantity of data stored", said scientist James Banal.

The researchers created their barcodes using single-stranded DNA sequences from a library of 100,000 sequences, each around 25 nucleotides long, established by Stephen Elledge, a genetics and medicine professor at Harvard Medical School. If you place two of these labels on each file, you may label each one uniquely.

Final words

While DNA may not be extensively employed as a data carrier for some time, there is currently a large need for low-cost, high-volume storage solutions.

The DNA encapsulation approach can be effective for archiving data that is only sometimes accessed. As a result, Professor Bath's laboratory is already hard at work on the formation of a business called Cache DNA, which will provide a method for the long-term storage of information in DNA.

How soon will we be able to store files in our DNA?

Dec 8, 2022 — 4 min read

The most frequently-used password globally is "123456”. However, analyzing passwords by country can yield some quite fascinating results.

We frequently choose weak passwords such as "123456" since they are easy to remember and input. The differences between such passwords can sometimes be found in the language itself. For example, if the English have "password" at the top of their list, the Germans prefer "passwort", and the French use "azerty" instead of "qwerty" due to the peculiarities of the French keyboard layout, which has the letter A instead of the usual Q.

When a weak password is driven by culture, things get much more intriguing. The password "Juventus" is likely to appeal to fans of the Italian football team Juventus. This password is also the fourth most popular option among Italian Internet users. The club is from Turin, Piedmont, and is supported by about 9 million people. At first look, the unique password "Anathema" appears to be a typical occurrence in Turkey, where the British band Anathema's name is among the top ten most common passwords.

A weak password is widespread

ExpressVPN together with Pollfish interviewed 1,000 customers about their password preferences in order to learn more about how individuals approach password formation.

Here are some of their findings:

•  The typical internet-goer uses the same password for six different websites and/or platforms

•  Relatives are likely to be able to guess their passwords from internet accounts, according to 43% of respondents

•  When generating passwords, two out of every five people utilize different variants of their first and/or last name

These findings demonstrate a lack of cybersecurity knowledge, despite the fact that 81% of respondents feel confident in the security and privacy of their existing passwords.

According to the survey results, passwords frequently contain personal information. Below, you will find the most shared personal information with the percentage of respondents who revealed that their passwords contained personal information.

•  First Name (42.3%)

•  Surname (40%)

•  Middle Name (31.6%)

•  Date of birth (43.9%)

•  Social security number (30.3%)

•  Phone number (32.2%)

•  Pet name (43.8%)

•  Child's name (37.5%)

•  Ex-partner's name (26.1%)

The most common passwords in various countries

Based on an infographic from ExpressVPN, the picture below illustrates the most often used passwords in various nations, practically all of which are in the top ten in their respective countries. Many are exclusive to these nations and demonstrate how cultural influences impact password creation.

Much of the information presented comes from a third-party study of stolen credentials (which were made public by Github user Ata Hakç). These datasets are based on the language of the individual sites, allowing the information to be distributed by country.

Let's have a look at some interesting variations of passwords. For instance, the phrase "I love you forever" may be deciphered from the password "5201314," which is commonly used by people from Hong Kong. In contrast, users in Croatia make use of the password “Dinamo”, which is derived from the name of an illustrious football team based in Zagreb. Martin is the password that is used by people from Slovakia. In Slovakia, the name Martin has a position as the fourth most common name. The Greeks, on the other hand, chose not to put undue effort into themselves and instead went with the most straightforward password out of the list, which was 212121. On the other hand, Ukrainians use the pretty difficult password Pov1mLy727. Apart from Ukraine, there are other countries where users more often than not create strong passwords. Let’s take a look.

These 10 countries create the strongest passwords

According to the results of the National Privacy Test that was carried out by NordVPN, the greatest marks were obtained by Italians in regard to their understanding of robust passwords. The following is a list of the top ten nations in which people come up with the most complicated passwords.

1. Italy 94.3 (points out of 100)

2. Switzerland 94

3. Spain 93.5

4. Germany 93.3

5. France 92.3

6. Denmark 91.8

7. UK 90.7

8. Belgium 90.4

9. Canada 89.4

10. USA 89.3

The top 10 did not include Australia (88.9), South Africa (86.2), Saudi Arabia (85.7), Russia (81.4), Brazil (81.2), Turkey (73.9), and India (78.4).

"This study demonstrates that individuals from all around the world are aware of how to generate secure passwords. The information is there, but people aren't using it in the right ways," says Chad Hammond, a security specialist at NordPass.

Also in November 2022, NordPass published a study that found out which passwords network users use most often. According to the findings of the survey, the majority of individuals still rely on simple passwords such as their own names, the names of their favorite sports teams or foods, simple numerical combinations, and other straightforward options.

NordPass security specialist Chad Hammond also stated, "Using unique passwords is really crucial, and it's scary that so many individuals still don't." It is critical to generate distinct passwords for each account. "We put all accounts with the same password in danger when we reuse passwords: in the case of a data breach, one account at risk can compromise the others."To summarize, it is reasonable to state that it does not matter where you were born, where you live, or what you are passionate about; you must always use unique passwords. We recommend that you make your password difficult to guess by making it more complicated or by using a password generator. This will increase the level of security provided by your password. In addition to this, we strongly suggest that you take advantage of two-factor authentication wherever it is an option. If you add an additional layer of protection to your accounts, be it in the form of an app, biometrics, or a physical security key, you will notice a significant increase in their level of security.

How passwords differ around the world

Dec 6, 2022 — 4 min read

The truth is, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. A ‘hacker’ is a name that can be ascribed to many different types of individuals — from North Korean crypto bridge drainers to a jealous 16-year-old trying to get into his girlfriend’s Facebook account. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly what a ‘real’ hacker is and what kinds of assaults may be carried out.

As a result of the controversy that surrounds the concept of hacking, hackers frequently get labeled as criminals. The process of obtaining and providing information or data is known as "hacking," and while there are numerous and less severe forms of hacking, "security hacking" is the most common type of hacking. Hacking is, in fact, an interesting component of computer operations that involves obtaining and presenting certain information or data.

The definition "individuals who utilize their knowledge or competence in computer operations to obtain access to systems or defeat Internet security barriers" describes the sort of hacking that falls under this category. "Gaining access" is the fundamental aspect of hacking. Some hackers do it for the thrill of it, while others do it for financial benefit. Some are even driven by political motivations.

Types of security hackers

Black Hat

The average hacker in the headlines and the greatest threat to your company is motivated by monetary gain. Their purpose is to enter your company and steal bank information, private data, and money. The stolen resources are utilized for extortion, illicit market sales, or personal benefit.

White Hat

These hackers are the antithesis of "black hat hackers," since they want to assist companies and support them in their cyber protection efforts either pro bono or in exchange for payment. A firm or an individual that assists with the protection of your organization — in other words. Cyberkite is analogous to a hacker who wears a white hat; they defend the data of your company.

Gray Hat

Personal pleasure drives these hackers. They are aware of everything that white and black hackers are aware of, and they are uninterested in attacking or safeguarding you. Usually, they merely have a good time breaking down fortifications for a test. They seldom do anything damaging, so they cut and go on. They constitute the vast majority of all hackers.

Blue Hat

This hacker is spiteful and hostile. They don't exist unless you make them. As a result, it is worthwhile to follow business ethics and treat consumers and other parties fairly. Because who knows, if you're not playing fair, you enrage them, and one of them turns into a hacker with a blue hat. They frequently modify off-the-shelf attack programs to suit their needs. They then utilize this code to exact vengeance on a company or individual.

Red Hat

Crusaders in cyberspace. They are vigilante superheroes who also serve as judges, juries, and executioners. Their mission is to eradicate black hat hackers from the internet. They employ a slew of black-hat cyberweapons against them. However, you are unaware of their existence since they resemble well-known comic book superheroes. The upside to your business is that they, like white hat hackers, try to defend you.

Green Hat

Inexperienced hackers. They are yet to become full-fledged hackers. They put programming to the test in order to learn. They normally do not assault businesses and instead learn from experienced hackers in internet groups. They don’t usually pose a hazard to your business.

Script Kiddie  

These guys are not like the rest. Of course, they sound like harmless hackers, but their purpose is to cause as much devastation and destruction as possible. They have no desire to steal. They concentrate on scripting and coding but do not create their own software. DoS (denial of service) or DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks are widespread on their side. As a result, they’ll utilize any sort of assault that might create havoc within your firm, harm your reputation, or result in client loss.

The country with the highest number of hackers

With definitions out of the way, you can be sure of the kinds of hackers we’re talking about. Indeed, China is home to the world's highest number of hackers per capita. It is possible to fall into the trap of believing that everything is predicated just on the size of China's population, which is enormous. However, not everything is as it seems at first glance. The hacker networks or organizations that China employs are among the most advanced and sophisticated in the world. The People's Liberation Army of China (PLAC) backs some of these groups financially and logistically.

Also, in order to achieve domination over other nations in cyberspace, China is encouraging cybersecurity as a culture. This will ensure that its educated youth have an excellent level of cyber literacy. This has also resulted in a rise in the amount of cybercrime. Various estimates suggest that China is responsible for 41% of all cyber assaults that occur throughout the world.

The idea of "network warfare" in Chinese information operations and information warfare is approximately equivalent to the American concept of cyber warfare. According to Foreign Policy magazine, China's "hacker army" numbers between 50,000 and 100,000 members, in addition to other groups and individuals. Chinese hackers might be described as "patient dreamers and social engineers." Asia, the Pacific, and Australia are their favorite locations.

Chinese hackers' typical attacks

A common Chinese hack employs a viral SMS message including a link to gather or install keystroke monitoring software in search of bank account access. It is worth noting that the majority of China's cybercrime infrastructure is based outside the nation, owing to strict government rules. Another factor to consider is that, over the last 20 years, China has swiftly absorbed and overtaken Western nations in the latest technology — for example, the city of Shenzhen is regarded as the world's electronics capital. Furthermore, China's objective cannot be dismissed as a desire to acquire the intellectual property for use in both the business and public sectors. The other is the urge to spy on one's own citizens and those of other nations — yeah, that's right, the surveillance program includes, for example, eavesdropping on Americans online, according to an April 2021 Human Rights Watch report. Will the government take a more active role in combating and preventing cybercrime? Only time will tell.

What country has the most hackers per capita?

Nov 30, 2022 — 4 min read

In contrast to other forms of verification, such as passwords or tokens, biometric authentication relies on an individual's distinct biological traits to confirm their identity. Indeed, it’s harder to fake and is typically more user-friendly since users do not have to memorize passwords or carry about a physical token that may easily be lost or stolen. Additionally, it is more difficult to counterfeit. An essential component of identification is the authenticator.

Analysis of a person's speech may be used for identity verification using a process known as voice recognition, which is sometimes referred to as speech recognition or voice authentication. Airways and soft tissue cavities, in addition to the shape of the mouth and the movement of the jaw, all have an effect on speech patterns and help create a person's distinctive "vocal print."

There’s a kind of speech recognition technology available known as speaker recognition. It’s not the same as voice recognition, which is a technique that is utilized in applications that convert speech to text and in virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa. Although speech recognition can comprehend spoken words, it cannot verify a speaker's identity based on the speaker's vocal characteristics; however, voice biometrics can.

Methods for recognizing the speaker

There are primarily two methods that may be used for voice authentication:

  • Text independent
    Any spoken passphrase or other types of speech material may be used to achieve voice authentication
  • Text-dependent
    In both the registration process and the verification process, you will use identical passphrases. This implies that the speaker will be asked to repeat a sentence that has already been decided upon, rather than being allowed to say anything that they would want to affirm. When using static text voice authentication, the password that is used for one verification is utilized for all of the verifications. The user is provided with a passphrase that is completely random, such as a series of numbers, through dynamic text-based voice authentication. Additionally, registration is required for this content.

Registration and confirmation of identity

It is necessary to capture the biometric speech sample and then register it with the microphone in order to generate a reference template that can be used for comparison with samples during subsequent authentication attempts. After that, distinctive aspects of the vocal performance are observed, such as:

  • Duration
  • Intensity
  • Dynamics
  • Innings

Examples of voice authentication

The hands-free mobile authentication use case is the most common use for voice authentication. This kind of identification is perfect for use on mobile phones or in other situations where other types of biometric verification, such as face recognition, fingerprint recognition, or iris recognition, are impractical. in automobiles.

Voice authentication may also be beneficial for voice recognition devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. There has been a recent uptick in the usage of virtual assistants to carry out activities such as placing orders and doing other tasks that would traditionally demand some kind of verification.

During help desk conversations, speaker recognition may also serve as an authenticator for callers. When compared to supplying personal information to verify identification, such as a driver's license or credit card number, users may discover that this method is not only more secure but also more convenient.

Advantages of voice recognition

Low operational costs

Voice authentication may result in cost savings for call centers as well as financial institutions. They are able to save millions of dollars because of the fact that this technology does away with many of the stages required by conventional verification procedures. During an end-to-end conversation, it is able to validate the customer's identification just by recognizing their voice, eliminating the need for the routine questions that are often asked.

Improved quality of life for the end customer

Voice biometric systems provide a number of benefits, one of which is that they have the potential to significantly enhance the customer experience. However, this potential is sometimes overlooked. It is no longer necessary for callers to provide passcodes, PINs, or answers to challenge questions in order to have their identities verified.

Because of this, speech biometrics are ideal for omnichannel and multichannel deployments. Once a client has been registered, their voiceprint may be utilized across all of a company's support channels, making speech biometrics suitable for omnichannel and multichannel deployments.

Increased accuracy

Voice authentication is more reliable and accurate than using passwords, which are simple to forget, change, or guess. Passwords are also easier to compromise. It's kind of like how fingerprints are the only thing that can identify you. To put it another way, in contrast to passwords, a voice is impossible to forget or imitate. In spite of the fact that the sound might be influenced by a number of factors, it is much more dependable and handy.

Technology that is simple to put into action

The ease of use and implementation that speech recognition biometrics provide is very valuable to a lot of different companies. It may be difficult to implement some forms of biometric technology inside an organization and to get started with these systems. However, due to the fact that speech biometric systems need so little, it is often possible to install them without the need for extra hardware or software.

Because this technology is so easy to use, businesses often have the ability to redeploy employees to other areas of the organization in order to improve both their efficiency and the level of pleasure they provide to their customers.

Conclusion

Voice authentication is an excellent method for verifying a user's identity since it offers extra levels of security, which manual passcodes may not be able to give. Voice authentication is a wonderful approach to verifying a user's identity. Voice authentication is advantageous for both the company and its consumers since it eliminates the annoyance that is associated with laborious login procedures.

The technologies behind voice recognition

Nov 24, 2022 — 4 min read

There is no good reason, from a technical standpoint, why passwords can't contain scripts in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or any other language for that matter. If you are able to write in this script, then it is entirely appropriate for you to employ it in whatever endeavors you undertake.

However, if you put this theory to the test, you will discover that many websites, including well-known ones like Google, prevent you from entering a password that contains characters other than A-Z, 0-9, and common special characters.

This brings to mind the early days of the internet when certain websites forbade the use of capitalization and prohibited the use of Latin letters for no discernible reason.

Site issues with passwords including Chinese characters

Users often make use of passwords that are longer than 30 characters, include all of the various character kinds that are usually suggested, and are created at random. If you use a password manager, you should probably make the password as difficult and as lengthy as it can possibly be.

However, if you visit more than 150 websites and change your password each time, you may find that many websites have password rules that do nothing but lower their level of security rather than increase it. This is because these rules are designed to protect users from themselves.

For instance, several websites impose arbitrary restrictions on the maximum length of passwords. They will typically demand passwords with less than 20 characters, in many instances. In certain cases, you can only use a maximum of 12 characters.

Even though it makes the password less secure, certain websites require that you include a number and a special character. This is despite the fact that doing so decreases the entropy of the password. On other pages, one may be restricted to using just the Latin letters; numerals and punctuation are not allowed. On certain websites, one may use punctuation, but you have to choose it from a drop-down menu first, and characters like "&" are not permitted.

This last point ought to give you significant cause for worry. Are these websites capable of sanitizing the password before inserting it into the database? Your database should not be used to store passwords in any way. I'm curious how many times this has been the cause when we consider severe breaches of privacy. You are required to hash the password before saving it.

In any event, the end effect of all of this is that a significant number of websites still verify passwords in an erroneous manner, excluding characters that really should be fully allowed. There is no valid reason why "您未设置安保问题" can’t serve as your password.

So, how safe is such a password?

Entropy is a term used to describe both the difficulty of breaking a password and the complexity of the password itself. In the next paragraphs, we will examine how to compute the entropy of a password.

If we expand the character set to cover everything from a to Z, digits from 0 to 9, punctuation marks, and so on, then we have a pool of 90 characters. This results in an entropy per character of log2(90), which is equivalent to 6.49 bits. If, on the other hand, we expand our character pool to include all Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) characters (presuming that our character pool has 74,605 characters), then we can calculate the entropy of each character as log2 (74605) = 16.19 bits of entropy per character.

Therefore, a 7-character CJK password such as "正确的马电池钉" would give you 16.19 bits of entropy times 7, which equals 113.33 bits total. I would need a password consisting of 18 characters if I wanted to match this using Latin letters, numbers, and special characters.

The vast majority of people are Chinese-illiterate. They have decided against using any characters that include CJK in their passwords. On the other hand, the effectiveness of a complicated password is comparable to that of vaccination in that it confers herd immunity. Crackers will only conduct brute force or dictionary attacks based on the letter az if individuals only use passwords that include those letters. If people have a habit of using numbers and punctuation, it forces attackers to incorporate those elements into their vocabulary, which in turn slows down their attack. The attacker needs to try all of these additional possible combinations, regardless of whether or not your own password used any of them.

Because roughly one-third of the world's population is able to read and write CJK characters (the populations of China and Japan are enormous), if we permit people to use CJK characters in their passwords, then even if I don't use CJK characters myself, we can all benefit from the increased complexity that this provides.

To reiterate, knowledge of Chinese is not required in order to work with CJK characters. You can keep track of all of your passwords by using a password manager, as was previously suggested. It does not matter whether you are unable to read or write the password as long as the password manager is able to save it and accurately copy and paste it into the password box when it is required.

Conclusion

We’d like to remind everyone that your name, birth date, or any other identifying information should never be used as a password, regardless of the language you use.

In addition, the passwords that are established on other websites might somewhat vary from one another, which makes them easier to remember and prevents the same issue from occurring. In this scenario, it is essential to connect your mobile phone number or email address so that you may easily recover the account in the event that the mobile phone number is lost or stolen.

On the other hand, many people feel that passwords are becoming outdated and that there are now more efficient methods to handle computer security and authentication than by using passwords. Perhaps now is the moment for people to begin shifting their attention to other approaches. In the not-too-distant future, we will find out.

How secure is a password that uses Chinese characters?

Nov 23, 2022 — 1 min read

In the new version of Passwork, we have completely redesigned the System settings. They are now divided into three sections:

  1. Global — organization settings that determine the operations of most of the Passwork functions
  2. Default — the values of the settings that will be used if no other custom settings are specified
  3. Custom — settings that can be set for individual users and roles

Now you can set up different interface languages, configure authorization methods, and enable mandatory two-factor authentication for individual users and roles.

To do this, click "Create a new settings group" in Сustom settings, add users or roles and select your desired settings. The newly created group will be added to the top of the list and will get the highest priority.

The following settings are now available:

  • Ability to create organization vaults and private vaults
  • Ability to create links to passwords
  • Mandatory 2FA
  • Time of automatic logout when inactive
  • Authorization method (by local password, LDAP password or SSO)
  • API usage
  • Interface language

We're already working to add new settings.

If you are already using Passwork — update your Passwork
Or request a free demo at passwork.pro

Introducing Custom settings