by Jeremy Kirk
In this article “Kevin Young, a computer security expert who studies passwords, is nearly at a loss for words. Literally.
Young and his colleagues are working to decode some 2.6 million scrambled LinkedIn passwords, part of a total of 6.1 million released earlier this week on a Russian password cracking forum. Young studies how people pick passwords and how resistant they are to cracking.
The data that was released were password hashes, or cryptographic representations of passwords churned through an algorithm called SHA-1. For example, if a person’s password is “Rover” the SHA-1 hash would be “ac54ed2d6c6c938bb66c63c5d0282e9332eed72c.”