The cryptocurrency space is lucrative for both traders and hackers. And while the first are more likely your friends, the latter literally freak the whole community out. Many inexperienced traders underestimate the threat that cybercriminals pose. It’s just that they hack exchanges, they try to compromise everything connecting to the internet – servers, private computers, wallets of all kinds, and even whole blockchain networks.
How secure is your PIN?
Speaking of hackers and attacks, what about your PIN? Is it secure enough? I bet you think it is but the chances are it isn’t. Here’s what I’m talking about. When humans are up to the task of coming up with a PIN for their device, they tend to settle for hard to guess 4-digit strings such as “1234” or “0000”. I have to admit I have done it too. However, these combinations are not hard to guess at all. Even a fourth-grader can unlock your hardware wallet if you rely on the above-mentioned top-level security PINs.
The harsh reality is that roughly 11% of all 4-digit PINs are “1234”. No, I’m not making up the facts. DataGenetics did a research regarding the most secure and least secure PIN codes used by people. The mainly relied on data from stolen PINs and their findings are intriguing and disappointing at the same time. Disappointing because people seem to lack imagination when choosing their PIN.
The top 20 most used combinations make up for 26% of all PINs from the 3.4 million database. To put this straight, one out of ten PIN codes is “1234”. Yeah, it is that easy for someone to guess it.
How to improve your PIN?
The easiest thing to do is to add more characters to your PIN since 4-digit combinations are the easiest to guess. Your other options include the avoidance of sequential and repetitive patterns like “6789” or “2255”. Furthermore, you can simply combine random numbers that matter to you. However, avoid birth years. Period. This is self-explanatory I think.
Another proper strategy is to add a random character to a number you can easily remember. For instance, “201604” becomes “534937” by adding three to each character. If you find it too difficult, you can always let your hardware wallet do the trick and provide you with a random PIN.
Why don’t brute force attacks work on cold storages?
Every time you (or a bad actor) input incorrect PIN, the device starts a timer, which prevents you from typing another combination. The more you screw up, the longer you have to wait. This simple tactics effectively combat brute force attacks.