Yes, usernames can be cracked

Yes, usernames can be crackedA team of French security researchers are warning that cyber-criminals may soon be able to determine the identity of an individual simply by cracking his or her username.

Indeed, according to Daniele Perito at the National Institute for Computing and Automation Research, multiple names spawned by a single individual tend to be extremely similar.

To prove his theory, Perito used a statistics-based utility to analyze approximately 10 million usernames from across Google, eBay and MySpace.

As expected, a distinct naming pattern was positively identified.

The researchers then developed a method for cross-referencing usernames across various sites, and eventually, successfully mapped multiple names to a single physical user.

"The tool can find linked usernames 50 per cent of the time with almost absolute accuracy," explained Perito.

"But users tend to choose and change their usernames in predictable ways, and they tend to have a small set of distinct usernames.”

Of course, the above-mentioned technique could be replicated and exploited by nefarious scammers to create a detailed profile of Internet surfers, what they buy and which sites they visit.

This would help cyber-criminals deploy targeted spamming and phishing attacks. For example, cross-referencing eBay usernames with Google email accounts could facilitate pinpoint phishing campaigns.

"It's [certainly] interesting research. If these techniques were extended, then far more sophisticated profiles could be created,” Symantec rep Patrick Fitzgerald told the New Scientist.

"But the ultimate risk is the information that people freely give away...People need to think about the consequences of sharing their lives on the internet."


You can check out how unique your usernames are here.

Source: TG Daily
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
You may still be able to download your content
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (15)