Events, news, technologies and products about cyber security
Monday, February 10, 2014
[darknet] The 25 Worst Passwords Of 2013 – “password” Is Not #1
The worst passwords of 2013 – really, more like the most common. The majority come from the massive Adobe leak, which contributed over 40 million passwords and skewed the data a fair bit pushing “photoshop” and “adobe123″ into the list.
Most of them are no surprise though, we published the top 10 most common passwords back in 2006, and although it’s rather UK-centric, it did contain “password”, “123″, “123456″, “letmein”, “qwerty” and for some reason both the old list and this one contain “monkey”.
“123456″ is finally getting some time in the spotlight as the world’s worst password, after spending years in the shadow of “password.” Security firm Splashdata, which every year compiles a list of the most common stolen passwords, found that “123456″ moved into the number one slot in 2013. Previously, “password” had dominated the rankings.
The change in leadership is largely thanks to Adobe, whose major security breach in October affected upwards of 48 million users. A list of passwords from the Adobe breach had “123456″ on top, followed by “123456789″ and “password.” The magnitude of the breach had a major impact on Splashdata’s results, explaining why “photoshop” and “adobe123″ worked their way onto this year’s list.
Fans of “password” could reasonably petition for an asterisk, however, given that the stolen Adobe passwords included close to 100 million test accounts and inactive accounts. Counting those passwords on the list is kind of like setting a home run record during batting practice. Don’t be surprised if “password” regains the throne in 2014.
It’s amazing to think in this day and age, with the amount of news coverage about hacking that people still use such simplistic passwords. Especially when they are dealing with accounts that have billing information/credit card details.
Plus the proliferation of fairly easy to use password generators and storage tools (KeePass/LastPass/PassPack/1Password etc). I’ve been trying a few of them out lately, and I’m favouring Passpack – although it changed hands lately and development has slowed down for a while.
Weaker passwords are more susceptible to brute-force attacks, where hackers attempt to access accounts through rapid guessing. And when encrypted passwords are stolen, weaker ones are the first to fall to increasingly sophisticated cracking software.
As always, Splashdata suggests avoiding common words and phrases, and says that replacing letters with similar-looking numbers (such as “3″ instead of “E) is not an effective strategy. Instead, consider using phrases of random words separated by spaces or underscores, and using different passwords, at least for your most sensitive accounts. Password management programs such as LastPass, KeePass and Splashdata’s own SplashID can also help, as you only have to remember a single master password.