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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Leaked celebrity photos stress need for virtual security

With the leak this week leaking of hundreds of explicit celebrity photographs, users are reminded to be careful about the ways they use technology.
Guofei Gu, an assistant professor with the department of computer science who specializes in computer and network security, said there are many factors that go into user data being compromised, and key among them is password security.
“We’re human, we’re not computers, so we can’t remember random passwords,” Gu said. “We have to remember some meaningful words, see. A lot of people tend to use very weak passwords like 123 or your birthday or your name or just a combination of simple things.”
Gu said many academic studies have shown just how weak users’ passwords tend to be, a statistic that, while not entirely surprising, has led to the creation of password databases, or dictionaries.
“Amazingly, according to a lot of studies, to guess a user’s password on average is not difficult,” Gu said. “Like 20 percent of passwords are pretty weak or pretty easy to guess, which means if you can create a good list of commonly used passwords, which are available actually online if you search for a dictionary, you can easily crack a lot of users passwords.”
Gu said users need to become more educated about cyber security society we move into a more technologically saturated age.
“There are some malicious apps that will steal your information,” Gu said. “They will compromise your privacy [without consent]. Don’t jailbreak [your phone] or install arbitrary apps.”
Lacy Baze, assistant director of marketing and communications for Texas A&M IT, said A&M hosts a month of security awareness in October, the goal of which is to inform and educate students about cyber safety.
Dylan Shaver, aerospace engineering sophomore, said although he thinks security technology has come a long way, it’s essentially in a cyber arms race with the hackers.
“I feel like the further on we go the more technology is being developed to help security,” Shaver said. “But at the same time there’ are people that are going to continue getting new technology to get past that security, so it’s kind of an ongoing battle.”
Baze said as long as she’s been involved, Texas A&M IT has never had an issue, and they’re working hard to keep it that way.
“As far as the central IT department, there haven’t been any major security breaches that I’m aware of,” Baze said. “Day in and day out, we’re always monitoring our systems and trying to prevent security breaches.”

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