Security

Off-the-shelf smart devices found easy to hack

Off-the-shelf devices that include baby monitors, home security cameras, doorbells, and thermostats were easily co-opted by cyber researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). As part of their ongoing research ...

Security

Choose better passwords with the help of science

For years, computer users have been told they should have complicated passwords, including numbers, punctuation marks and other symbols, and upper- and lowercase letters. Despite those being hard to remember, people were ...

Security

The long history, and short future, of the password

In Western history, the concept of the password can be traced as far back as the so-called "shibboleth incident" in the 12th chapter of the biblical Book of Judges. In the chaos of battle between the tribes of Gilead and ...

Security

The age of hacking brings a return to the physical key

With all the news about Yahoo accounts being hacked and other breaches of digital security, it's easy to wonder if there's any real way to keep unauthorized users out of our email and social media accounts.

Security

Dashlane, Google in open source password manager project

(Tech Xplore)—PC and tablet warriors who must access files and applications for work and for play tolerate their password rituals whether dozens or more times a day. Painful as entering passwords may be—forgetting some ...

Security

Google eyes shift from passwords sooner than you may think

Is this a dream or an answer to yours? Is Google really set to kill the password on Android—in 2016? Wait, that is this year. The headlines are not a dream. Google is to ditch passwords in favor of a biometrics means for ...

Consumer & Gadgets

Digital Tattoo for Moto X offered in packs of ten

Back in 2013, Regina Dugan, the former DARPA head, and leading special projects for the Google-owned Motorola, showed electronic tattoos as one password authentication sign of the future.

page 1 from 2

Password

A password is a secret word or string of characters that is used for authentication, to prove identity or gain access to a resource (example: an access code is a type of password). The password should be kept secret from those not allowed access.

The use of passwords is known to be ancient. Sentries would challenge those wishing to enter an area or approaching it to supply a password or watchword. Sentries would only allow a person or group to pass if they knew the password. In modern times, user names and passwords are commonly used by people during a log in process that controls access to protected computer operating systems, mobile phones, cable TV decoders, automated teller machines (ATMs), etc. A typical computer user may require passwords for many purposes: logging in to computer accounts, retrieving e-mail from servers, accessing programs, databases, networks, web sites, and even reading the morning newspaper online.

Despite the name, there is no need for passwords to be actual words; indeed passwords which are not actual words may be harder to guess, a desirable property. Some passwords are formed from multiple words and may more accurately be called a passphrase. The term passcode is sometimes used when the secret information is purely numeric, such as the personal identification number (PIN) commonly used for ATM access. Passwords are generally short enough to be easily memorized and typed.

For the purposes of more compellingly authenticating the identity of one computing device to another, passwords have significant disadvantages (they may be stolen, spoofed, forgotten, etc.) over authentications systems relying on cryptographic protocols, which are more difficult to circumvent.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA