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Common Passwords are Still Far Too Common

by on January 22, 2010
in Computers and Software, News, Internet & Networking, Computer Safety & Support, Home Safety & Security, Tech 101 :: 0 comments

In December 2009, a hacker posted on the Internet 32 million passwords stolen from website RockYou.com. Yes, that's right — 32 million stolen passwords. This list of passwords provided a unique, if unfortunate, opportunity to study whether people are using passwords effectively to protect their personal information.

The results? Not good.

An analysis of the passwords by security firm Imperva shows that using easy-to-hack passwords is still far too common. In fact, nearly 1% of RockYou.com users had "123456" as their password. And a full 20% used one of 5,000 common passwords.

The practical impact of this is huge. According to Imperva's CTO Amichai Shulman, "Everyone needs to understand what the combination of poor passwords means in today's world of automated cyber attacks: with only minimal effort, a hacker can gain access to one new account every second—or 1,000 accounts every 17 minutes" .

How to protect yourself

Fortunately, you can easily protect your personal information by following a few simple rules for creating strong passwords and avoiding cross-use of passwords on multiple sites. And, there are passwords programs available to help keep all of your strong passwords in order. Our article Manage Your Passwords will show you how.
 

Top 20 Passwords from RockYou.com

   Rank      Password      Number of Users   
with Password
1 123456 290731
2 12345 79078
3 123456789 76790
4 Password 61958
5 iloveyou 51622
6 princess 35231
7 rockyou 22588
8 1234567 21726
9 12345678 20553
10 abc123 17542
11 Nicole 17168
12 Daniel 16409
13 babygirl 16094
14 monkey 15294
15 Jessica 15162
16 Lovely 14950
17 michael 14898
18 Ashley 14329
19 654321 13984
20 Qwerty 13856

Source: Imperva

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