Unlike any other times these days using a strong password in your computer (+ your web based accounts etc) is crucial for the “survival” of computer users. Hacker are also impressively smarter too. Did you know that by hacking into thousands of users PCs over the Internet and using small amount of their CPUs (so they won’t suspect anything) they can create a virtual super computer network which makes cracking even a reasonably powerful password somewhat easily ?
Although I can’t remember where I heard it first but I remember after being caught, a world famous hacker told that his ultimate way of cracking passwords has actually nothing to do with computer software, he said something like, “let me have a phone call with someone for like 10 minutes and I’d have them!”.
So the best thing to do would be to use some sort of a random password generator and then combine your personal data with it to create a powerful password (so hopefully you’ll be able to remember it easily). So would you like to know of a small command-line tool that lets you easily generate random passwords in GNU/Linux (not just Ubuntu)?. It’s called “makepasswd”.
*. Creates random passwords (includes 10 characters by default).
*. Change the number of characters for creating a powerful password.
*. Use encryption (disabled by default).
*. Generate any number of passwords using a single command! … well, that’s about it for the features.
You can install makepasswd in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 10.10, 10.04 or other old version by simply using the below command in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install makepasswd
Say that you wanted to use it to create a password (with default options). Then simply enter the below command that should output something similar as with the first screenshot.
If you want additional security, then you can create a longer password with any amount of characters you want. For that we gotta have to use the “--chars N” argument.
For instance, if I wanted a password with 15 random characters (numbers, upper/lower letters, etc), then I’d use the below command.
makepasswd --chars 15
If you want to make 10 different passwords with each containing 15 characters, then use the below one instead (using the “count” attribute).
makepasswd --chars 15 -count 10
As shown in below screenshot…
But remember, these passwords are really good ones but they can also be a bit hard to remember. So I don’t think it’s good idea to generate a lot of these passwords for all of your accounts since it can be a hassle to remember them afterward (unless you’re using a password manager)…
But if you’re a network admin who usually have to create a lot of passwords for users or just need a secure password temporarily … well, this is certainly a useful tool to have around. Enjoy!