Recently, the internet has been plagued by a series of “Botnet” attacks using brute force to gain access to websites.
In a nutshell, a computer somewhere tries to login to a user’s account on a website by guessing the password. Once it has correctly guessed the password, it modifies files and effectively adds itself to the big list of computers now infected and guessing passwords. While one computer alone trying to guess a password might take months, years, or even decades, it takes much less time for several million computers.
Hosting companies are absolutely incredible about mitigating damage from these types of attacks soon after they start, but it’s incredibly hard to prevent them outright. However, you can be proactive by making sure your passwords are strong.
If you aren’t sure about your passwords, here’s a good resource to give you an indication of how long it might take a hacker to break in: http://howsecureismypassword.net/
Quick tip: Create a password that is impossible to guess, but very easy to remember by stringing a few words together. e.g. teamountainapplecake – try it out at http://howsecureismypassword.net/ and see for yourself!