It’s Your Number Sense, Not Superman that Saves the Day

Admins not taking the time to create complex passwords leads to embarrassing revelation: 123456 still reigns supreme!

Invisibility cloaks? The ability to reach lightning speed and take a quick tour around the world during your lunch break? How about the power to walk through walls? Until humanity finds a way to make these dreams come true, why don’t we focus on an underrated superpower: strong password creation.

Quick question: do you believe your passwords are invincible? Whatever your answer, your work’s still not done in this area of your e-life. If the answer’s yes, don’t forget you need to change them often. As no password is uncrackable, that’s the closest to a golden rule that we’ve got on these shaky grounds. If you’re more of a skeptic, or if your answer is a loud and clear “no”, change is the word for you as well! You’re just a step away from account hijacking, so: beware!

When you enter your password-changing state of mind, make sure you slip in numbers and letters (both upper and lower case) and a customized assortment of special characters. Before you start rolling your eyes in despair, let me present you the exhibit of the day:

Looks like some admins don’t know their ABCs, but seem to be experts in their 123s. A hacker recently succeeded in breaking into a site and … surprise, surprise! All the passwords, including the admin’s one, were 123456!

“Aren’t these passwords hilarious?” commented the witty hacker, probably astonished by the findings.

If this doesn’t make you want to change your 1234 password right away, I don’t know what will! Ah, do make sure you have a different password for each online account. Ready, steady, go! Be creative!

P.S. Try swordfish 1234567!  It’ll work.  Marx brothers’ honor! ;-)

About the author

Sabina DATCU

Sabina Datcu, PhD has background training in Applied Informatics and Statistics, Biology and Foreign Languages and Literatures. In 2003 she obtained a master degree in Systems Ecology and in 2009 a PhD degree in Applied Informatics and Statistics.
Since 2001, she was involved in University of Bucharest's FP 5 and FP6 European projects, as researcher in Information and Knowledge Management field.

In 2009, she joined the E-Threat Analysis and Communication Team at BitDefender as technology writer and researcher, and started to write a wide range of IT&C security-related content, from malware, spam and phishing alerts to technical whitepapers and press releases.