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Password 123 By Brian Simpson
Our government administrators are so brilliant that we all should have great faith in their security protocols. Simply consider things such as passwords, which they ensure are so difficult that the average four year old would have to think for at least two minutes before cracking one:
“Over 1,400 government officials in Western Australia used the phrase ‘Password123’ as the password for their entrance into government agencies, a security audit of the Western Australian government released this week revealed. The audit revealed that 1,464 people used the password “Password123,” while 813 used “password1.” Nearly 200 people opted for just “password,” while almost 13,000 used variations of the date and season. A further 7,000 included words with the ending of “123.” “Many of these passwords comply with industry standards for password complexity and a length of at least 8 characters,” the audit report states. “This indicates that merely applying these parameters is insufficient to guard against inappropriate access to networks and systems.”
The use of simple, predictable passwords presents a significant cyber threat, as it makes it far easier for hackers to gain access to government agencies and obtain information that could put millions of people’s lives at risk. Many employees also saved their passwords in easily accessible word documents and spreadsheets. “After repeatedly raising password risks with agencies, it is unacceptable that people are still using password123 and abcd1234 to access critical agency systems and information,” said Auditor General Caroline Spencer on publishing the audit. “Those passwords contain agency systems, which contain sensitive and confidential information, to inappropriate access and unauthorized use.” “Agency systems are being attacked regularly, so the risk is real,” she continued. “We are still finding that agencies are not taking the risk to information system security and capability seriously enough.”
Of course, the government is planning to change things to up the level of security. Then, I suppose, administrators will move to new passwords, such as “Password 1234.” Yes, these are the types of peole running the system. This is one reason why I don’t feel “secure”; because we are not.