For decades, the public have happily relied on passwords—those unique combinations of letters, numbers and symbols—to protect their online accounts and information. While most know that anything connected to the internet is accessible by anyone on Earth, including the criminal with a keyboard on the other side of the planet, many are content to believe that their combination of password keystrokes is so unique that it renders their accounts and information impenetrable to malicious attack.

This, however, is no longer the case, which 15 NFL teams recently learned the hard way. In January, a group of hackers in Saudi Arabia vandalized the password-protected Twitter accounts of the teams, replacing logos and text in what seemed to be a publicity stunt to promote their organization’s so-called security services. The Federal Depository Library Program also fell victim to a publicity attack, when its website was similarly defaced by Iranian hackers espousing a political message.

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