25 February 2020

Keep your passwords secure: hackers don't break in, they log in!

Hackers don't break in, they log in. That mantra, often repeated by security experts, represents a rule of thumb: The vast majority of breaches are the result of stolen passwords, not high-tech hacking tools.

These break-ins are on the rise. Phishing scams - in which attackers pose as a trustworthy party to trick people into handing over personal details or account information - were the most common type of internet crime last year, according to a recent FBI report. People lost more than $57.8 million in 2019 as the result of phishing, according to the report, with over 114,000 victims targeted in the US.

And as phishing becomes more profitable, hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the methods they use to steal passwords, according to Tanmay Ganacharya, a principal director in Microsoft's Security Research team.

"Most of the attackers have now moved to phishing because it's easy. If I can convince you to give me your credentials, it's done. There's nothing more that I need," Ganacharya told Business Insider.

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