Industry News

‘Password’ Ousted by ‘123456’ as Most Popular Password

After lingering for years as the second-choice of computer users, “123456” overtook “Password” to become the world’s most popular – and worst – password in 2013.

“Password” fell to second place after two years in the spotlight, as reported by Splashdata – a security firm that puts together a yearly list of the worst password-choices on the web.

Adobe was unwittingly the main provider of raw material for the latest study after it lost information of some 48 million users in a devastating security breach at the end of 2013. A closer look into the leaked data revealed that last year people hid private details about their online identity under extremely obvious passwords

“Seeing passwords like ‘adobe123’ and ‘photoshop’ on this list offers a good reminder not to base your password on the name of the website or application you are accessing,” says SplashData CEO Morgan Slain.

Most of these passwords are not stored in hashes instead of in plain text but the weaker ones are usually easy to guess. Among the easiest to break are words and phrases found in dictionaries.

The worst password choices identified by Splashdata in 2013 include 123456, password, 12345678, qwerty, abc123, 111111, iloveyou, adobe123, admin, monkey, shadow, sunshine, princess, 000000, password1.

“Another interesting aspect of this year’s list is that more short numerical passwords showed up even though websites are starting to enforce stronger password policies,” Slain said. “For example, new to this year’s list are simple and easily guessable passwords like `1234’ at #16, `12345’ at #20, and `000000’ at #25.”

Those who have trouble remembering passwords can use a password manager such as the Bitdefender Wallet that stores bank account numbers, PINs, usernames and passwords for websites, e-mails and more. Bitdefender Wallet is available as part of the Bitdefender Internet Security and Total Security 2014 suites.

About the author

Loredana BOTEZATU

A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.