The man who created password hell admits he got it all wrong

The man responsible for most of your password headaches was wrong, and he's sorry

The man responsible for most of your password headaches was wrong, and he's sorry

"For example, a user that might have chosen "password" as their password would be relatively likely to choose "Password1" if required to include an uppercase letter and a number, or "Password1!" if a symbol is also required".

It advised using capital letters, numbers and non-alphabetic symbols in passwords, in the belief that they would be more hard to uncover.

The eight page guide titled "NIST Special Publication 800-63".

Instead of creating a password, opt for a passphrase that can be long but easy to remember. "In the end, [the list of guidelines] was probably too complicated for a lot of folks to understand very well, and the truth is, it was barking up the wrong tree". The problem with these recommendations is that they prompt users to create passwords that are still easy to compromise - swapping out certain letters with special characters and capitalizing some letters within a password doesn't really do much to secure accounts against brute force attacks.

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A widely shared comic strip (above) by Randall Munroe demonstrates the fallacy of Burr's guidelines.

Looking back on the previous rules, Burr claims that "change your password every 90 days" rule is grossly misfollowed by people.

Burr bared his heart in the Wall Street Journal, telling the paper that the rules were cribbed from documents from the 1980s and are perhaps unnecessarily complicated. Paul Grassi headed up the re-write last June and said that numerous worst password commandments were eliminated.

"Through 20 years of effort, we've successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess", he wrote.

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Burr said the guidelines first published in 2003 ultimately led people to create passwords that could easily be cracked by hackers, such as Password123!

If you've ever had to come up with a "secure" password, you probably did the same thing as nearly everyone else-pick the first word that comes to mind and substitute a few numbers and symbols for letters.

The gentleman who had us all changing passwords frequently and using odd character sequences now has regrets.

"We ended up starting from scratch", said Paul Grassi, a standards and tech adiser at NIST.

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An 18-year-old with a history of psychological problems was arrested on Saturday at the Eiffel Tower after brandishing a knife. An operation is now underway to locate the vehicle and its occupants in what has been described as a possible attack.

The new guidelines will call for longer phrases with memorable words strung together.

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