A recent study conducted by Home Security Legends, a company specializing in identity theft prevention, has found that artificial intelligence technology can crack any seven-character password in just six minutes. The research also revealed that this holds true even if the password contains symbols.
To conduct the study, the company used a generative AI service called PassGAN, which sifted through 15,680,000 commonly used passwords from the Rockyou dataset to determine how long it would take to crack them. The Rockyou dataset is a collection of data used to train smart systems on password analysis.
The company used PassGAN to go through the list of passwords and record the results in terms of accuracy rate and estimated prediction time. The study found that 65% of common passwords could be cracked in under an hour, and 81% of them could be broken in under a month.
It took the AI password cracker approximately 10 months to break passwords that contain only numbers, and a whopping six quintillion years to break passwords containing symbols, numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters. The study also revealed that passwords longer than 18 characters are generally safe from AI password crackers like PassGAN.
Home Security Legends warns that PassGAN represents a “concerning advancement in password cracking methods,” as it can make it easier for cybercriminals to crack passwords and gain access to personal data. To safeguard passwords, users should update them regularly – ideally every three to six months – and ensure their passwords are strong and complex.
Home Security Legends suggests using passwords that are at least 15 characters long, avoiding obvious patterns, and including at least two uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, users should generate new passwords for each account, as a hacker can easily access multiple accounts if the same password is used.