Security Topics on Lifehacker

I like to read. I also like to read about how to get things done better. I therefore read the blog lifehacker.com. Their About page describes the blog as “Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done.” The topics range from food, to offices, to computer topics including security. The latter is why I’m talking about them here (in case you couldn’t figure that out).  I need to warn you that like a lot of blogs, a few posts are slightly NSFW (not suitable for work) as are some sites to which they link. With that caveat out of the way, let’s look at a few of their very useful posts.

This post  shows how easy it is to crack the weak WEP Wi-Fi passwords I discussed earlier. It also tells you how to do it. But don’t do it at work, though, unless you want a vacation where you share a very tiny place with a stiff cot and limited visitation.

This post is a great discussion about passwords and how bad guys can guess them. It addresses how to crack passwords and which passwords are more important (and more likely to be attacked) than others. It also talks about how to make better passwords. It’s good reading and has lots of links to more good information.

I bookmarked this one on breaking into a Windows PC a while ago when a friend needed access to an old Windows laptop. Again, don’t try this at work without permission – it tells you how to change the Windows administrator password. It also tells you how to beat each of the techniques (well, how to make them somewhat meaningless). One suggestion it makes, and one you’ll hear often in our System and Network Security course: encrypt sensitive data.

One post from early this year really got my attention. It discusses how to use a tool called Lastpass to help you manage your passwords. You probably keep hearing about how passwords should be complex, hard to guess and blah, blah, blah, right? Yet you go on using that same old password of your dog’s name spelled backwards, don’t you? Well this post shows you how to use a tool that manages complex passwords. Of, course this is not the only way to keep your passwords, but it does seem to be a good solution.

How do you manage passwords? Let us know in the comments below. While you’re at it, head on over to lifehacker and share with us your favorite (security-related) topics.

John McDermott

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