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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Electronic privacy
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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tagged with hackers , passwords

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 - Almanac Vol. 52, No. 19

How Hackers Use Password Dictionaries

Weak and poorly protected passwords remain the single biggest threat to computer security. Unfortunately, many of us still choose passwords that are easily "cracked", like birthdays, pets’ names, foreign words, and celebrities’ names.

Powerful, automated tools for cracking poorly chosen passwords are readily available to malicious individuals, and are often carried in computer worms and viruses. These tools call on large dictionaries to guess what a user’s password might be. Password dictionaries generally contain hundreds of thousands of entries, including words and phrases from numerous languages and from pop culture, as well as sequences like "12345678" and "fjdksla;" which are common passwords. Password cracking tools take each dictionary entry and use it in numerous ways - spelling it forwards and backwards, and making common substitutions like replacing the letter "O" with a zero and the letter "S" with a dollar sign ($).

For information about selecting a strong password, please visit


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