Have you ever used your iPhone or iPad as a wireless router, aka a hotspot, for other devices? If you have, then you've come across the normal routine of letting iOS come up with a password to keep your connection secure. Security is a must, especially if you're transferring files and essentially making the device with all your precious secrets an open connection without it.
But researchers in Germany figured out a way break down the structure of these passwords. Turns out, they're just a combo of short English words and some random numbers. But isn't that what most of our passwords are, anyway? That's the scary thing: because of the simplicity, the researchers were able to figure out a password within 50 seconds once they caught on to a Wi-Fi connection. Using four AMD Radeon HD 7970s, the computers went through a list of 52,000 word entries and number codes—but the connections were just using 1,842 of those password combinations.
"System-generated passwords should be reasonably long, and should use a reasonably large character set," says the Friedrich-Alexander University report. "Consequently, hotspot passwords should be composed of completely random sequences of letters, numbers, and special characters."
Also, "password" is not an acceptable password.