Press Release: Specops enables organizations to block leetspeak in passwords

(Last updated on October 7, 2020)

Stockholm, Sweden – April 19, 2018. Specops Software announced today the release of Specops Password Policy 6.8. The release enables IT departments to prevent users from circumventing the password dictionary by using character substitutions, also known as leetspeak.

Leetspeak is a form of modified English that replaces letters with ASCII characters and numbers. It is a common practice when creating passwords as it allows users to meet various password complexity requirements while still using a memorable password, for example, P@$$w0rd. Password complexity or password composition rules can increase password security by randomizing the password, but when leetspeak is used, the password is rendered weak due to predictability.

“Users typically fall into predictable patterns when constructing passwords,” said Lori Österholm, CTO at Specops Software. “The use of leetspeak is just one of the poor password behaviors that users rely on to create a new password that is a variation of a previously used password. This makes the password easier to remember for the user, and easier to crack for the hacker.”

The leetspeak feature works in conjunction with any custom password dictionary, and enables IT departments to force the creation of unique passwords by preventing users from utilizing character substitution to overcome the blocked password rule.

“This feature advances Specops Password Policy’s dictionary list capabilities. It is not always enough to just block previously leaked passwords, you’ll need these additional settings to really ensure that users are creating unique passwords,” says Österholm.

Specops Password Policy is a password filtering tool that strengthens Active Directory passwords and simplifies the management of fine-grained password policies. Specops Password Policy can target any Group Policy Object level, group, user or computer with specific complexity, dictionary and passphrases settings.

About Specops Software

Specops Software is an award-winning software company that develops solutions for desktop, authentication and password management, which extend the functionality of Windows infrastructure. With offices in the US, Canada, the UK and headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Specops Software helps companies, organizations and educational institutions in more than 50 countries. Specops Software has grown steadily since it was founded in 2001 and reports strong turnover and solid profit.


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