As I pondered how to best discuss password security, I wondered if I could find a nice history of when passwords came into use and how badly they have been handled over time. Little did I know, we have been quite bad with them since their inception. The resource I found for the subject did such a wonderful job that I am opting instead to wrap his original work into this post. Major credit and props to Troy Hunt for his wonderfully crafted article, https://stealthbits.com/blog/a-history-of-passwords/. I do hope that you will give it a full read and perhaps click on an ad while you are there to show appreciation of his work. I have also been a fan of another piece of his work; https://haveibeenpwned.com/ which is a site that I have used many times. This is a site that will tell you if your email address has been discovered in one of the many multitudes of email/pswd caches out there. If you find your email address is listed there, just reset your password and move on. There is no cause for alarm unless you have that email address tied to something like… your back account. Now if you are one who abuses password by reusing the same one all over, then you may have an issue. If that is the case, then it is time that you start changing up those passwords so that one compromise doesn’t hand over the keys to your email kingdom. Oh I can hear you know… but I don’t have anything worthwhile in my email box, nothing that anyone would find interesting. Sound familiar. think of all of the places that you give your email address to in order to log in or perhaps to verify your existence. How many accounts do you think a black hat hacker could gain control of just by being able to lo into a web mail utility somewhere posing as you with your oh so clever password (yeah Password1)?
Really read Troy’s article, drink it in as it will help you understand why passwords are a bigger deal than you may think. If you want to discuss the topic more, please, drop a comment below. If you liked this article, please come back for more and feel free to mash an ad on your way in or out to help the cause.
If you have a cybersecurity paper that you would like to publish here, please let me know. I would be happy to look it over and post it here as either a post, or a page. You would of course get full credit for the work under any name of your choosing. Keeping in mind that some prefer to be anonymous I am happy to accommodate.
More than likely even if you do not know the term OSINT, you have used it. If you have dated modern women, it has likely been used against you.
OSINT is open source intelligence. Have you ever “Googled” someone or yourself? Then you have used OSINT. Open source intelligence is using any publicly available information to gather information about a person or organization.
The reason for your search will determine what tools are best for you. Sometimes it is any number of search engines like Google, Dogpile, Bing, Duckduckgo, etc.
When my daughter started dating, she cautioned at least some of the guys that they would be background checked. Now some parents may pay for these name check sites, but my wife and I have learned to use OSINT and do the digging for free. I was able to find stuff that one of the guys did not even know existed (or wouldn’t fess too as he was a crap fest). Once you have gathered your notes form the basic web searches, you can start in with the local civil and criminal courts. I am in Washington State where we have some good searchable resources open to us. Check your area to see what you have access to. Use your own name to see what can be found (without being in law enforcement). You can piece together a fair idea of their character. Are they a felon? perhaps a sex offender, or just a ton of civil cases for not paying bills etc. You could find bankruptcies, evictions, or simple disputes. Some of these results will require a trip to the court house to get more details that are all in the public record. Leaving home may not be technically OSINT as you may have to pay for access to the data.
As you start your adventure into OSINT, I hope that you bookmark the best sites that you find. As you practice, you will go back to those favorite sites and become better with your search patterns. Before you know it, you will be a world class information excavator. (see also, the skills of a suspicious wife/girlfriend)
With all of the hustle and bustle of my day job, it is very easy to get to the end of the day and not think about adding to the content of this site.
Of course I feel guilty about it since I know that there is so much that I could (or should) be sharing with you.
Part of the dilemma, is what to bring to your plate. The world of cybersecurity has an immense spectrum. You will find areas that you enjoy most and they may end up as your specialty.
Here is what I am asking, are there tools that you want to learn about?
Are there attack types that interest you? Perhaps a tool that has caught your attention and you would like to see it discussed.
Do you have content that you have written that you feel would be a good fit for what we are doing here?
Please speak up in the comments and I will do my best to make it happen.