In news that will have computer security experts celebrating and shaking their heads, it seems that the most popular password is no longer ‘password’. It’s ‘123456’.
This is according to an annual survey from mobile software developers SplashData, who have collated a massive list of the most popular passwords used online from the data revealed by high profile hacks in 2013.
The main source for this year’s list was the cyberattack that hit Adobe in October, a hack that was originally thought to have targeted 2.9 million customers but was later revised to 38 million.
The Adobe hack certainly swayed the results of the survey (both ‘ adobe123’ and ‘photoshop’ make their first time appearence in the list - see below for the top 25) but the unseating of ‘password’ was the biggest surprise. It was relegated to second position, followed by ‘12345678’ in third place and ‘qwerty’ in fourth.
Other favourite standbys that also appeared included ‘abc123’, ‘ letmein’ and the ever redoubtable ‘111111’. A surprise appearance was also made by ‘trustno1’ – perhaps as a quiet rebuff to last year’s NSA revelations.
Take a look at technology that could be replacing passwords in the future:
For those who may recognise their own password on the list and are considering upgrading their security, security experts recommend that instead of trying to memorise a random jumble of letters and numbers such as ‘d73h58fjk’ we pick phrase passwords – combinations of known words such as ‘monkeysteeplefacejacket’ that tend to stick in the memory.
The concept was outlined in this well-known XKCD comic and although it has its flaws (for example, if a hacker knew this format was being used they could crack the password quite easily) it certainly beats ‘123456’ – or ‘password’.