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article imageHackosis Calculator: How Long Does it Take a Home Computer to Guess Your Password?

By Chris V. Thangham     Nov 2, 2008 in Internet
Even without sharing our passwords, hackers can use different computer techniques to crack them. The Hackosis calculator gives you an idea of how strong your password is, and how long it will take a computer program to crack it.
Hackers widely use the "dictionary attack" or the "brute force" method to break a password. Many also use these methods to decode a password without using a super computer.
The "dictionary attack" method uses words in the dictionary to guess passwords. It may add a number at the beginning or end of the word as well.
The "brute force" method uses a crypto-analysis technique to find more complex words that have a combination of alpha, numeric and special characters in them.
The Hackosis calculator uses a PHP program to calculate how strong your password is. Once you enter the count of various characters such as lowercase, uppercase, numbers, special characters, phrase, etc., it tells you how long it will take for an average computer to crack it.
Here is one example from Digital Inspiration:
This say it will take the computer about two months to guess a strong password with 5 lowercase, 2 uppercase and 4 numbers in an 11 character password. But if you have passwords like "test" or "abcd" or "123" or "rainbow" etc., then it takes far less time to crack them.
Here is another example of a password I use for one site I visit; this password was generated for me at Roboform, a random password generator:
Hackosis Calculator results.
Hackosis Calculator results.
It takes much longer to crack this password compared to the previous one. I used 18 characters (6 uppercase, 8 lowercase, 4 numbers) in my password.
Try having a strong password instead of generic passwords when you browse the Web. Don't make it easy for hackers to steal your password.
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