The era of the eight-character password is ending, reports CNN Tech. The emerging standard is a minimum of 12 characters--just like UC Davis will require for campus computing accounts starting this fall.
The campus "Upgrade to a passphrase" campaign makes the same basic point contained in the CNN article--mainly, that eight-character passwords have grown insecure, thanks to the cheap computing power now available to password-cracking hackers.
As of Aug. 23, nearly one-third of UC Davis faculty and staff have upgraded their Kerberos passwords to passphrases. The campus will begin systematically expiring the old Kerberos passwords in October.