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No more easy passwords

Since last week's LinkedIn hack when 117m user credentials were leaked, Microsoft has announced it is tightening password security by banning easy passwords.

The LinkedIn data showed that the most popular passwords people used were "123456" and "linkedin," while previous research has shown that "password", "qwerty" and "football" are also amongst the top 10 passwords used.

According to Alex Weinert from Microsoft's Identity Protection Team, Microsoft fends off attacks to 10 million accounts on a daily basis and has been collecting all the passwords guessed by hackers.

"We analyse the passwords that are being used most commonly. Bad guys use this data to inform their attacks," he wrote. "What *we* do with the data is prevent you from having a password anywhere near the current attack list, so those attacks won't work."

The service, which will work on Microsoft Accounts including Outlook emails and cloud directory Azure AD, will then prevent you from using the most commonly used passwords, so you are less likely to get hacked.

The company is also implementing a "smart password lockout" system that only locks out hackers, rather than the entire account. Microsoft can determine the risk associated with a specific login session (where the person is logging in and what network they are using) so they can lock out suspected intruders, but you can still login if you are doing so from your own device on an internet network you have used before.

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Category: What's New
Date: 10th June 2016
No more easy passwords

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