We all know when it comes to security, a secure password is always the most important thing. However remembering a complex password is always the toughest part anywhere. Especially when it comes to being a system administrator, our passwords are usually the most vital of anyone in the company. When it comes to telling people they need complex passwords, what always comes to mind is this xkcd comic about passwords.
As the bottom text suggests we have come to the point where it’s hard for us to remember passwords, but easy for computers to guess. So what’s the solution? Well what I do as a GNU/Linux person is use the command already built in to generate super secure passwords using the sha1sum, sha224sum, sha256sum, sha384sum, and sha512sum commands.
First off pick a random word or phrase. Now remember capitalization, spaces, and such will always effect the sum spit out. let’s start with sha1sum which is the shortest, and using the word “password” as our example throughout this tutorial
echo "password" | sha1sum
So we see using the word “password” it spits out the sha1sum of the word, and we now have a very complex password. Now let’s try it with SHA256
echo "password" | sha256sum
So you see as we increase the strength of the sha256sum, the output sum is longer, and with a longer password comes even more security. Now let’s try SHA512
echo "password" | sha512sum
So now we see the output is incredibly long and complex. This is a great way to make incredibly secure passwords.