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Passwords remain the weakest links in cyber breaches

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A total of 89% of cyber breaches had a financial or espionage motive, says Verizon Communications Inc. in a report issued Wednesday.

The “2016 Data Brach Investigations Report” by the New York firm is based on an analysis of 2,260 breaches that occurred in 82 countries across myriad industries, according to the report.

Among other findings, the report said 63% of confirmed breaches involved weak, default or stolen passwords. “The use of stolen, weak or default credentials in breaches is not new, is not bleeding edge, is not glamorous, but boy howdy it works,” says the report.

Password guessing has evolved to malware “that are designed to (among other bad things) capture keystrokes from the infected device. All those efforts to use special characters, upper/lower case numbers and minimum lengths are nullified by this ubiquitous malware functionality,” says the report.