As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I am an advocate ot technology in general and AI in particular. Heck, I’m even teaching a program called the AI Money Machine that is designed to help you make additional revenue by harnessing the power of AI to create products you can sell online.
However, not all AI applications serve our best interests. One alarming development is the rise of AI in password cracking. This article explores how AI can crack passwords and offers practical advice on how to protect yourself against AI password cracking.
AI and Password Cracking: A Growing Threat
AI platforms have quickly risen in popularity, with applications ranging from generating artwork to creating written work. However, these platforms also pose a number of security risks. Cybercriminals can utilize AI systems to quickly complete tasks, such as generating phishing emails or even cracking passwords.
A recent report by Home Security Heroes found that an AI password cracker, PassGAN, could crack any seven-digit password in less than six minutes—even if they contain symbols, numbers, and both lower- and uppercase letters. The AI cracked 51% of these usual types of passwords within a minute, 65% within an hour, 71% within a day, and 81% within a month. These worrying results underscore the importance of taking online security seriously.
How AI Cracks Passwords
AI can significantly enhance the capabilities of hackers. Conventional hackers rely on manual effort, common tools, and expert knowledge to achieve their objectives. In contrast, those possessing AI capabilities can automate tasks, enhance tools, and avoid detection.
AI can help hackers expand their operations through automation, reducing the reliance on human labor, thus enhancing the likelihood of success. For instance, AI can automate the creation and execution of spear phishing attacks, analyze and derive insights from data gathered through Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and carry out simultaneous attacks on multiple organizations.
Protecting Your Passwords from AI
Despite the growing threat of AI password cracking, there are several strategies that individuals can employ to protect their passwords.
Unique Passwords Everywhere
One of the most effective strategies is to use unique passwords for each website, device, or service. Password managers can be a helpful tool in this regard, as they can store your passwords and generate unique combinations for you.
Long and Complex Passwords
Long passwords that include numbers, lower- and uppercase letters, and symbols—and are not easily understood or inferred—will enhance the protection element. The time for AI to crack passwords depends on the length and complexity of the password. Even passphrases, which are longer and more complex passwords, can be hacked if they can be determined by machine learning from social media and other postings.
Posting too much information online about your life can provide information about your whereabouts, assets, and family, which can be used to crack your passwords. AI can learn at a much quicker rate of such occurrences and be able to better time an intrusion, and possibly discover passwords or gaps and attempt logins during a vulnerable period.
As AI continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, it’s crucial to stay informed about the potential threats and take proactive steps to protect your online security.