Weak passwords, in 2013 it is still a frequent error

12:00 ET, 23 January 2014

SplashData has issued its Annual “25 Worst Passwords of the Year” enumerating the list of the most common password chosen by users.

It was October 2012 when for the first time I’ve seen a report from SpashData on most common passwords chosen by users to protect their account on various services.

SplashData, which develops password management applications, has issued its Annual “25 Worst Passwords of the Year” enumerating the list of the most common password chosen by users.

pass

If you are a hacker and need to brute force a login form, probably you can benefit from this reading, hack a password sometime could be very easy because the human factor. User’s wrong habits represent serious weakness, unaware users adopt a secret code easy to remember and use to share them among different web services.

Reading the passwords I believe that people would start being really concerned at  the level of security offered by their passwords. Let’s give a look to the list of the most common passwords in 2013.

SplashData analyzed the millions of stolen passwords made public throughout 2013, a significant contributing is provided by the Adobe data breach occurred in October.

The list of password this year includes terms like “adobe123” and “photoshop because it belongs to the Adobe systems, another common error is to use passwords that are composed with the name of applications they  are used for.

In the report issued in 2012 the three worst passwords were “password”, “123456” and “12345678” and new passwords appeared in the top list, including “welcome”, “jesus” and “ninja”.

The top 10 password in 2012 was:

  1. password (unchanged)
  2. 123456 (unchanged)
  3. 12345678 (unchanged)
  4. abc123 (up 1)
  5. qwerty (down 1)
  6. monkey (unchanged)
  7. letmein (up 1)
  8. dragon (up 2)
  9. 111111 (up 3)
  10. baseball (up 1)

The list related to 2013 is

  1. 123456 (Up 1)
  2. password (Down 1)
  3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
  4. qwerty (Up 1)
  5. abc123 (Down 1)
  6. 123456789 (New)
  7. 111111 (Up 2)
  8. 1234567 (Up 5)
  9. iloveyou (Up 2)
  10. adobe123 (New)
  11. 123123 (Up 5)
  12. Admin (New)
  13. 1234567890 (New)
  14. letmein (Down 7)
  15. photoshop (New)
  16. 1234 (New)
  17. monkey (Down 11)
  18. shadow (Unchanged)
  19. sunshine (Down 5)
  20. 12345 (New)
  21. password1 (Up 4)
  22. princess (New)
  23. azerty (New)
  24. trustno1 (Down 12)
  25. 000000 (New)

“password” has lost the top being substituted by “123456.”, but do you consider that something is changed on the attacker’s perspective? It is still too easy to hack find your password!

How to choose a good password?

As I described in a previous article published on the Malta Independent journal to compose hard-to-guess passwords I recommend:

  • Use long passwords (minimum length of seven characters, preferably more to increase strength)
  • Use a wide range of characters including A-Z, a-z, 0-9, punctuation and symbols, like # $ @, if possible
  • As a rule try to use at least one lower-case and one upper-case character, and at least one digit. If it is technically possible, also use a punctuation mark. This helps increase the total search space.
  • Use numbers in place of letters in some cases. Change “i” by “1”, “E” by “3”, “A” by “4” (or @), “S” by “5”, “G” by “6”, “O” by “0”. Again, this helps increase the search space.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  passwords, Digital ID)

 

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