A Right Royal Security Blunder

Yesterday’s Guardian reports of an interesting royal IT security failure, when a supposedly non-problematic article of Prince William at work also revealed a large piece of paper with a military login and password clearly displayed in the background. (Guardian’s photo at http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Politics/Pix/pictures/2012/11/20/1353420459724/Prince-William-chats-with-010.jpg)

UK’s MoD has since urgently changed their passwords, but the lax attitude towards IT security, particularly in delicate areas such as the military, does leave a very sour aftertaste. As if revealing the password wasn’t bad enough, the password itself wasn’t very strong either, apparently.

Globally the most widespread passwords still seem to be “123456” and “password” as well as other very simple ones. Statistics show the Irish are a slight bit smarter when it comes to passwords, as the majority do use a combination of letters and numbers at least:

(source ESET Ireland survey, May 2011)

In a series of articles, ESET expert David Harley has also been dealing with the issue of password security, but one worth pointing out in light of the Royal blunder is that the best password in the world is of little use if the site or service or organization that you access with it isn’t taking proper care of it“, from the Password Strategies: Who Goes There article in SC Magazine.So, while the Irish do use better passwords than is the global average, the question remains, where do they have them written down and displayed for everyone to see.

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