It’s Official: Computer Scientists Pick The Strongest Passwords

An article in Ars Technica reported on a study of plaintext passwords by students at Carnegie Mellon University that showed that comp sci students and teachers picked stronger passwords than their peers.

If you’re a student or teacher in a computer science school of a big college, chances are good that you pick stronger passwords than your peers in the arts school. In turn, the arts students usually pick better passwords than those in the business school.

What makes this a landmark study is that it’s the first statistically significant sample of passwords used for high-value accounts. The researchers examined the passwords of 25,000 faculty, students and staff at the university used to access grades, e-mail, financial transcripts and other sensitive data. The passwords were then subjected to a cracking algorithm with a complex password policy, and the results revealed that those in science and technology programs chose passwords that were 1.8 times stronger than those in business programs, with arts students coming in between.

Read the full paper here.

(via Ars Technica)