The Bible is one of the fundamental building blocks of Western culture. Tracing the history of the Bible ties it to dozens of key events in human history. And it’s also apparently useful for password cracking!
How? Well, among other things, the Bible has a lot of words in it, and to crack passwords, you need a lot of words. Essentially, researchers have been testing password cracking by using a “dictionary” attack, basically throwing lots of words at a password screen and it turns out the Bible’s pretty handy for finding words, being one of the cradles of the modern English language and all. Throw that and Wikipedia into the mix and…
Within a few weeks, they expanded their sources to include the entire contents of Wikipedia and the first 15,000 works of Project Gutenberg, which bills itself as the largest single collection of free electronic books. Almost immediately, hashes from Stratfor and other leaks that remained uncracked for months fell.
Why should you care? Well, first of all, this research is designed to build a better password screen. With Apple’s nipple scanner demonstrating that biometrics have a long way to go, it’s important that passwords and password screens become stronger.
Secondly, it’s also important to understand just how unsafe your password really is, so you can decide whether or not to take certain things to the Web. And it pushes companies to develop stronger countermeasures and protect your data in other ways. So essentially, the Bible is making your online bank account safer. Or hacking it. Take your pick, really.
(Image courtesy Agent_mikejohnson on Flickr)