Bad, dumb, easy passwords strike again
A string of brazen cyber attacks last week has proven internet users are making things far too easy for hackers.
A closer look at a portion of the 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords leaked onto the internet proves people keep making ill-advised password choices.
In fact, according to Boston-based internet security firm, Rapid7, the most commonly used phrase in the hacked passwords appears to be link. The firm created a top 30 list of most commonly used phrases by studying a sample of 160,000 of the 6.5 million passwords released onto the internet.
The second most common phrase in the hacked LinkedIn passwords was 1234 and because LinkedIn requires a seven-letter password, 12345 wasnt far behind, either — it was sixth on the list while 123456 was 15th. Rounding out the top ten were work, god, job, angel, the, ilove and sex.
LinkedIn said it is working with the FBI to investigate last weeks cyber attack. Just hours after Russian hackers published millions of passwords collected from the professional networking site, music site, Last.fm and dating site, eHarmony announced some of its users passwords were compromised in similar attacks
A total of eight million passwords from Last.fms 40 million users were compromised and an estimated 1.5 million of eHarmonys 20 million users were affected.
All three companies are advising their users to change their passwords as a precaution.
If theres one thing that the LinkedIn, eHarmony and now Last.fm hacks have taught us in the past week, its that people are really bad at picking secure passwords.
Even if you cant keep track of all the different passwords for your various accounts, its important to remember you should never use the same passwords for accounts you use every day. That means, your Facebook, Gmail and Twitter accounts should all have different passwords, which should be different from your bank account password.
Its unlikely hackers will target you directly, but if one of your passwords gets posted out there in a major data dump, youre making it way too easy for them if youre sharing passwords across accounts.
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