World’s First: UK to Officially Ban Weak Passwords


The United Kingdom is reportedly set to crack down on common and weak passwords, requiring manufacturers of internet-connected devices to direct users to change commonly used security keys.

The new legislation is also set to make security and update reports clearer.

The PSTI regime, or Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure, plans to impose minimal requirements that must be met to avoid penalties.

According to the government, the regulations are a “world first” that will guard UK businesses and consumers against cybercrime and increase security.

As a result, producers of various electronics, including phones, TVs, and smart doorbells, are now obligated, by law, to safeguard internet-connected gadgets from hackers and remind consumers to update any default passwords.

Cyber Security Concerns In The Global Wake of Hacking Threat

(Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Brands must provide contact details and maintain transparency regarding the timing of security upgrades to facilitate bug and concern reporting.

At a time when hackers are attacking consumers and businesses more frequently than ever, the new safeguards are anticipated to increase people’s confidence in purchasing and using technology.

According to the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT), more than half of UK households reportedly have a voice assistant, such as Alexa.

According to reports, home networks typically included nine devices.

These can include web-enabled toys or remotely controlled equipment such as stoves, refrigerators, radiators, and standard broadband routers. 

Since their widespread use, an increasing number of hackers have gained control of these devices and abused them—sometimes secretly photographing or recording, spying on individuals, or stealing personal information.

Read Also: Medical Tech Company LivaNova Reports Cyberattack Compromising US Patients Data

Experts Weigh In

According to security expert Ken Munro of Pen Test Partners, a company that conducts ethical hacking against smart gadgets, the new regulation is a positive move.

He also said it has historically been far too simple for manufacturers to discontinue support for older models when they introduced new ones, and it would be helpful for buyers to compare the number of years of support that a product was guaranteed to provide.

According to him, a manufacturer prioritizing cyber-security could be indicated by a more extended support period.

Jonathan Berry, the minister of science and technology, said the risks posed by the internet grow as our daily lives depend more and more on linked gadgets. 

UK on Cyberattacks

The United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters issued a warning about cyberattacks and artificial intelligence in January, stating that as these technologies advance, cyberattacks are likely to increase in frequency.

This makes the new cybersecurity-focused legislation timely.

In the next two years, AI may make it simpler for inexperienced hackers to wreak havoc online, according to a recent warning about ransomware attacks and phishing scams that potentially affect the entire world.

The article asserts, in particular, that threat actors’ social engineering skills will be enhanced by artificial intelligence.

Genetic artificial intelligence (GenAI) can enable convincing contact with victims, including creating lure documents without requiring translation, spelling, or grammar checks, often signs of phishing.

Related Article: MIT Develops Powerful Chip Designed to Guard Against Cyber Breaches 

Written by Aldohn Domingo

(Photo: Tech Times)

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