Bad, dumb, easy passwords strike again

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  • Easy peasy: Don’t make your passwords so easy for hackers to guess

    Easy peasy: Don’t make your passwords so easy for hackers to guess


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” wasn’t 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 week’s 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.fm’s 40 million users were compromised and an estimated 1.5 million of eHarmony’s 20 million users were affected.

All three companies are advising their users to change their passwords as a precaution.

If there’s one thing that the LinkedIn, eHarmony and now Last.fm hacks have taught us in the past week, it’s that people are really bad at picking secure passwords.

Even if you can’t keep track of all the different passwords for your various accounts, it’s 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.

It’s unlikely hackers will target you directly, but if one of your passwords gets posted out there in a major data dump, you’re making it way too easy for them if you’re sharing passwords across accounts.

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Published Jun 13, 2012 at 8:08 am (Updated Jun 13, 2012 at 8:07 am)

Bad, dumb, easy passwords strike again

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