20% of employees are willing to sell their work email passwords
By Priya Anand
How much are your passwords worth to you?
One in five employees say they’d be willing to sell their work-related passwords, according to a survey of 1,000 office workers at private organizations released Monday by SailPoint, an Austin-based security company.
Of the people who said they’d be willing to sell their passwords, 44% said they wouldfork over the credentials for less than $1,000. That’s just 88 of the 1,000 employees surveyed, or 8.8%, but the figure is still one that shows humans are the weakest link when it comes to security, says SailPoint President Kevin Cunningham.
The survey also found 65% of workers say they use a single password across their accounts.
“People know it’s not good. Like smoking, they know it’s not good for you, but they do it. They know it’s not good to speed, but they do it,” Cunningham says, comparing it to other bad habits. “I think we’re seeing a big lag between awareness and implementation of good practices.”
About 45% of the workers surveyed came from companies with 10,000 or more workers; 25% were from companies with 5,000 to 9,999 employees and 30% belonged to organizations with 1,000 to 4,999 staffers.
Some people would take an even smaller award. ProPublica reported in 2014 that 380 New Yorkers gave up their fingerprints and portions of their Social Security numbers in exchange for a cookie.
Many employees already unwittingly give up their company’s credentials. Breaches often begin with a phishing attack, through which an attacker obtains an employee’s credentials to gain access to a network. The Department of Justice charged a Pennsylvania man last week with hacking more than 100 Apple He sent them emails that appeared to be from those companies and convinced them to click on fake login pages he emailed them to steal their usernames and passwords. and Google accounts, mostly of celebrities. His attack strategy?
And many Internet users refused to change their passwords after the Heartbleed Internet bug in 2015, even if they had heard the news that it was considered one of the biggest recent security flaws.
That’s why there’s been a movement to kill the password and move toward other ways of proving identities online — for example, by using biometrics or passcodes sent to personal devices, which must then be entered into a login page. Professors from Stanford University and George Washington University suggested last year that thegovernment should help kill passwords by banning companies to rely on them exclusively, so as to hasten a technological evolution.
While people seem to be willing to give up their online credentials in exchange for cash or cookies, criminals are buying them up in black markets. Netflix account passwords sell for as little as $5, and PayPal access goes for about $9, according to the Tokyo-based cybersecurity company Trend Micro.=============================================
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