Is Another LinkedIn Password Leak Coming?
As the world recovers from a massive leak involving at least 6.5 million LinkedIn (NASDAQ: LNKD) passwords, many users wonder if their information is finally safe. After all, it wasn't that long ago that Zappos.com -- a subsidiary of Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) -- had an enormous password leak involving more than 20 million shoppers.
Last year, Sony (NYSE: SNE) alerted consumers that an unauthorized person might have gained access to the password and account information (including credit card numbers) of all 70 million PlayStation Network users.
These are just a few of the hacking-related disasters that have hit the Internet over the past year. Thousands of others have already occurred. Inevitably, more are on the way.
"It's not inevitable that every single website that you sign up for is going to get exposed at some point," Bill Carey, the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Siber Systems, told Benzinga. "I'm definitely not saying that. What I'm saying is, at some point, somewhere, there's going to be a way for a hacker to get in. And it's not going to be 100%. But it only takes, you know, 1% penetration, or 5% penetration, to access millions of passwords."
Considering the history of hacks and password leaks, Carey said that he doesn't think he's "making a crazy statement."
"I don't think it's anything crazy -- it's not like I'm making any Earth-shattering statements or controversial statements," he said. "It is just a matter of time before another company announces that there has been a password leak, if you want to call it that, or that someone has hacked into their system."
"In the real world, you have a line between security and convenience," Carey continued. "Many users value convenience as much as they value security."
To make a site hack-proof, Carey surmised that LinkedIn could require users to plug in a USB dongle before the site could be accessed. "But users don't want that and LinkedIn doesn't want that because it's inconvenient," he said. "You don't want to have to carry that around all the time. So they resort to passwords."
That may not leave consumers with many options. But Carey said that Siber Systems has created software, RoboForm, that is "specifically designed to help users create strong passwords for all their different websites" that allows them to "login to these websites automatically and to do this in a convenient manner."
"The average person can't remember more than a few passwords," Carey explained. "So what they do is they end up taking shortcuts with their passwords. If they can't remember more than a few, they are ultimately going to end up using the same one, two, or three for all these different sites."
Ultimately, Carey believes that if there's a hack for one site, cyber criminals will be able to use that leak to crack your other passwords and get into the other sites you use.
"That's why we created RoboForm software," Carey added. "With our software you can remember one password, and then the software will remember your passwords for all your other websites. You can now use strong, unique passwords for all your different websites and not worry about it."
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