The tech giant hopes the practice will increase security for user accounts, as those with passwords such as “12345” and “password” are some of the most susceptible to hackers.
This is coming off the heels of LinkedIn admitting that 117 million accounts were hacked back in 2012, up from the 6.5 million which they first reported. The business social network said that account credentials were being sold online.
If users try to set up an account with many of the passwords found on our list of the worst passwords, Microsoft will show a red warning that says, “Choose a password that’s harder for people to guess.” This security feature is live across commonly used Microsoft accounts such as Outlook and Xbox Live, and will soon apply to the Azure Active Directory which is integrated into cloud based applications such as DropBox and Office365.
According to the blog, here's what it would look like to an end user in Azure Active Directory.
Alex Simons, one of the authors of the blog and the director of program management in Microsoft, wrote that cybercriminals use commonly used password to force their way into accounts.
“What we do with the data is prevent you from having a password anywhere near the current attack list, so those attacks won’t work,” he wrote. He also added that up to 10 million accounts are hacked daily.
As a friendly reminder to everyone, please go through lists of the most common passwords (like this one) and avoid them at all costs if you do not want criminals to easily “guess” your password. Add capital letter(s), and don't be afraid to throw in some symbols and numbers too.