This summer, a large number of passwords were stolen from various instagram and storage services. How does this happen and how can you protect yourself from data loss in public networks?
How instagram password leaks occur
In terms of information security, password filtering can have three main reasons:
- Theft of the instagram server password database.
- Use malicious software on the user’s computer, for example, viruses or key loggers.
- Use password recovery to steal a password.
The most popular way to steal
At first glance, the most obvious way to filter passwords is when databases with passwords are stolen from the instagram server, for example, by employees serving the company server, or by using software vulnerabilities in the hack Instagram accounts. However, it is often not that easy. The fact is that if a company cares about data security, passwords are not stored openly. They are encrypted or, to be more precise, the database stores only the hash function of passwords.
In summary, you reach the following conclusions:
- Database theft allows attackers to decrypt accounts using simple passwords (i.e., those that an attacker can guess) or short passwords (that is, those that can be guessed using unprocessed computing power).
- If the user has a long enough password consisting of random characters, one does not need to worry about the theft of the database.
How can you understand that a server or forum uses password encryption?
It is quite easy to verify. You only need to request a password recovery. If you received the password in the reply message, it means that it is stored openly in the database. If the server asks you to change the password, the database will most likely store only hash functions.
It is not all
The second way to steal passwords is to use several malicious programs: viruses, phishing sites, etc. To steal user passwords directly from your computer or by entering a password on websites. The obvious ways to deal with this method of theft are to be careful when using the Internet and using an antivirus program.
The third method of theft is related to the procedure to recover a forgotten password. This is the easiest way to steal a password from a family person, for example, using your mobile phone, which you left unattended at your office desk. There is no easy way to protect it from such theft. However, you should remember that password theft is often associated with changing a password, so if your password suddenly changed without your request, it was most likely stolen.