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New Technique Makes Passwords 14M Percent Harder to Crack, Nonprofit Claims


Tide’s method for protecting passwords splinters them up into tiny pieces and stores them on distributed nodes.

One method that cryptographers often use to protect a secret is to split it up into multiple smaller pieces and allocate the individual portions for safekeeping to various different parties. It’s only when a certain minimum number of those parties bring their portions together that the secret can be reconstructed in its entirety.

Now researchers at Tide — a nonprofit based in Sydney, Australia — have developed a similar approach to protecting usernames and passwords that they claim is some 14 million percent more difficult to hack than current mechanisms.

Tide’s method, called “splintering,” involves taking encrypted passwords within an authentication system, breaking them up into multiple tiny pieces, and storing the pieces on a decentralized distributed network from which they can be reassembled as needed.

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