About the IT Security MOOC

The IT Security MOOC was incredibly informative and enjoyable to do. The tasks, although simple, were designed to help you remember what you did, such as the case study where LinkedIn was hacked into with a Insider Attack, but it was found out that LinkedIn did NOT originally store the passwords encrypted, but in plain text for anyone to read. The tests were fairly simple but at the same time were also very informative, which if you were to get a wrong answer (which I got plenty of) it would tell you what the answer you had provided was for and would give you a total of 3 tries on a question. I came out of this course with FAR more security knowledge than I previously had. Although sites insist on you having both letters and numbers, having a password such as Booty123 or CoDFan11 do not make the password any stronger.  It may last a short time against a Brute force, but would likely be guessed fairly quickly. If you want to have an incredibly strong password that would take weeks to bruteforce, you’d want to go with something like 0Ze1P_p9L4in5Ze_GR1-4OZo/oPla. It can’t get much more random so your safe from guess work. Brute forcing works in alphabetical order, so having Z’s in there, along with so many special characters and numbers that could likely withstand a reasonably strong attack for about a week or so. That doesn’t sound like very long but considering a brute force attack system can make 20,000 guesses a day, the person is more likely to give up and move onto someone easier before the system gets your password. I came away from the MOOC with 73% total on the tests, whereas if I had simply taken the tests before reading anything I likely would have had around 30% right.

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