Having a weak password can create havoc in a person’s life. At least, that’s what happened to a couple in Uttar Pradesh after their intimate pictures were leaked to their relatives by a hacker who demanded a ransom to not make it public.
Police claim it was difficult to track the accused as he was blackmailing the victim using a virtual number. There are several applications and online services where a person sitting in India can generate mobile numbers of foreign countries and use it for sending WhatsApp messages as well.
Auraiya police cracked the case by arresting a 21-year-old science graduate Suraj, who allegedly hacked his friend’s Gmail and Facebook password. The hacker got the access to his friend’s intimate pictures with his girlfriend, which the victim had saved to his Google drive. The victim, unfortunately, kept his mobile number as his password, which made it easy for a hacker to gain access.
Triveni Singh, SP Auraiya told DB Post, “We are living in an extremely dangerous world where we have to be very careful about our privacy. Here the victim had a weak password and it turned his life upside down.”
Singh explained that trying to get advantage from the photos, Suraj created a virtual number of US, which is freely available. He first sent the pictures to the victim on his WhatsApp and demanded him to pay Rs 30,000. When he failed to pay the money, Suraj started forwarding the pictures to the victims’ relatives by searching for their numbers from Gmail contact list.
This week, the victim approached the cops and Suraj was tracked down using electronic surveillance. Triveni Singh said that misuse of virtual numbers is increasing day by day. It is being used to keep identities anonymous and extort or blackmail people. He also advised that it is very important to keep strong and different passwords for online accounts.
73% users have same password for multiple sites
- A study shows that 73% of users have the same password for multiple sites, 33% use the same password every time.
- Every extra character in your password increases the difficulty for hackers to crack it.
- Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security that is difficult for hackers to crack.
How to create a strong password?
Good passwords are critical to information security. Lack of thought in creating password policies increases the chances of unauthorized access or compromised data.
- Passwords must contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, punctuation, numbers, and symbols.
- Contain at least 15 characters.
- Be unique from other accounts owned by the user.
- Never include dictionary words
- Never include patterns of characters
- Go even further in your password policy by encouraging the use of pass phrases, which use phrases along with the strong password guidelines to add even further difficulty to passwords being compromised.