Evernote’s massive password reset last week was the most recent demonstration of leaky security around consumer locks and keys. Dropbox, LinkedIn, Twitter and others preceded the Evernote action. These anxiety-producing consumer annoyances occur over a backdrop of increased cyber-attack news. Chinese hackers are spotlighted in many recent disruptions, substantiated by Akamai’s report of originating-attack countries for Q3 2012, which shows China’s percentage of worldwide cyber exploits doubling from the previous quarter.
Precautionary password resets, as in the Evernote case, are minor aggravations. But the larger danger of password insecurity and increased cyber-malice is the swift domino effect that can lead to identity theft of the Mat Honan variety. Absolute personal cyber-security is probably a mirage. But there is not enough public education from industry that might reduce millions of easy targets.