Creating and remembering safe and secure passwords

Password Crackers
Hackers have many tools, such as dictionary programmes and sniffers to assist them. A hacker will launch a dictionary attack by passing every word in a dictionary (which may also contain foreign languages as well as the entire English language) to a login program in the hope that it will eventually match the correct password. These password cracking programmes have rule sets that can try thousands of word variations per second [July 2009].

Passwords Are Easier To Crack Than Ever
Passwords areless secure than they were a few years ago, thanks to faster hardware and new techniques used by password crackers. Ars Technica explains that inexpensive graphics processors enable password-cracking programs to try billions of password combinations in a second – what would have taken years to crack now takes only months or maybe days.

There are also numerous password cracking tools available that any average person can use.
You can also try this search at Google

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Passware Kit Forensic 11.7
Passware Kit Forensic 11.7 includes live memory analysis and subsequent decryption of MS Word or Excel files. In addition, the new version instantly decrypts PGP Whole Disk Encrypted volumes and recovers passwords for Apple disk images.
Until now, there had been no solution available commercially to crack MS Office 2007-2010 encryption in predictable time. Brute-force attack was the only method available.
The latest version of Passware Kit Forensic includes live memory acquisition over FireWire and subsequent recovery of a file's encryption key – regardless of the password length and complexity.
According to Per Thorsheim, organizer of the "Passwords∧12" conference in Norway the addition of instant Microsoft Office password recovery to an already impressive range of features, Passware takes a big step in the evolution of forensic tools. Where we previously could not recover passwords from document files with strong encryption, Passware now offers a solution for instant Office file password recovery in many situations.

Changing Passwords
How often you should change passwords really depends on the account.
It also depends on the Password Classification (covered on the next page).
Online financial accounts should be changed every month or two.
Corporate network passwords should be changed every 1 – 3 months.
[I enforce corporate network password changes every month]
I recommend considering the "sensitivity of the resources you are trying to protect" and suggest "enforcing password changes somewhere between once per quarter to once per year".

Just use good judgment and don't be lazy.

Changing a password is relatively quick and painless compared to the irritating, frustrating, annoying and expensive process of combating identity theft.

Password Cracking Methods
Top Ten Password Cracking Methods is a good read for those interested in some of the methods used. This blog shows how a cheap graphics card could crack your password in under a second, while this shows how weak your 6 letter passwords really are.

Cain and Abel
Cain & Abel is a password recovery tool for Microsoft Operating Systems. It allows easy recovery of various kind of passwords by sniffing the network, cracking encrypted passwords using Dictionary, Brute-Force and Cryptanalysis attacks, recording VoIP conversations, decoding scrambled passwords, recovering wireless network keys, revealing password boxes, uncovering cached passwords and analyzing routing protocols.

A good password is easy to remember, but hard to guess

And you must also NEVER write down your password

And you must also NEVER write down your password
[ Are you starting to get the message ]

Next ... Securing your passwords

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