Welcome to #WeekendWisdom number 27. This week we’re going to talk about password spraying.

What is going on right now?

Just earlier this week, US and UK cyber security authorities released an update on what the activity they are seeing online at the moment. And what they’ve seen is nation-state hacking groups or groups that are aligned with nation states appear to be targeting medical research companies, pharmaceutical companies, national health organisations and government departments. They do this to try and get some intelligence or some insider information from those, for their own benefits.

How does Password Spraying work?

What they are doing is they’re researching companies getting lists of names of people who are working there and then generating potential user IDs from those names. And then they’re doing what is called password spraying. This is where they then take those user IDs and put them in combination with some very commonly used passwords like “123456”, “qwerty” or “password1”.

They try to see if they can get a log on into the systems with those user IDs and passwords. So they spray this across as many as they can. And if they were successful in getting in, then they will try and get the information they’re looking for.

How do we protect ourselves from that?

So you can protect yourself by using things like a password manager to make complicated passwords and two factor authentication to prevent people from breaking in with just user IDs and passwords. I covered these off in #WeekendWisdom 016 and #WeekendWisdom 017.

So that’s it for this week. Lets be careful out there and we’ll talk to you again next week.

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