What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Why That Long Password May Not Protect Your Data After All

August 27, 2013, 3:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Last weekend, the makers of the free password-cracking tool oclHashcat-plus released a new version that can decode passwords of as many as 55 characters in length and do it more quickly than its siblings, oclHashcat-lite and Hashcat. Earlier version of oclHashcat-plus were limited to 15 characters or less, and lead developer Jens Steube says in the release notes that the increased range "was by far one of the most requested features" for the new code. The changes, which took six months to complete, resulted in a tool that, in a typical configuration, can cycle through millions of possible candidates in just over a minute.

What's the Big Idea?

Password vulnerability has gained much more attention in recent years, but as people compensate by creating longer and more complex strings, password crackers -- both white-hat and black-hat -- are coming up with even more sophisticated and faster ways to decrypt them. This includes expanding dictionary databases "to include phrases and word combinations found in the Bible, common literature, and in online discussions" and building toolkits such as Password Analysis and Cracking Kit (PACK), which tailors a cracking attempt to fit a particular company's password policy, saving valuable processing time by automatically eliminating all candidates that don't fit the policy.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Ars Technica


Why That Long Password May ...

Newsletter: Share: