Thursday, January 8, 2009

Remember Your Password?

Via Andrew Sullivan, the 500 most common passwords people use to access their computer or sites.

From the moment people started using passwords, it didn’t take long to realize how many people picked the very same passwords over and over. Even the way people misspell words is consistent. In fact, people are so predictable that most hackers make use of lists of common passwords just like these. To give you some insight into how predictable humans are, the following is a list of the 500 most common passwords. If you see your password on this list, please change it immediately. Keep in mind that every password listed here has been used by at least hundreds if not thousands of other people.

There are some interesting passwords on this list that show how people try to be clever, but even human cleverness is predictable. For example, look at these passwords that I found interesting:

ncc1701 The ship number for the Starship Enterprise
thx1138 The name of George Lucas’s first movie, a 1971 remake of an earlier student project
qazwsx Follows a simple pattern when typed on a typical keyboard
666666 Six sixes
7777777 Seven sevens
ou812 The title of a 1988 Van Halen album
8675309 The number mentioned in the 1982 Tommy Tutone song. The song supposedly caused an epidemic of people dialing 867- 5309 and asking for “Jenny”

“…Approximately one out of every nine people uses at least one password on the list shown in Table 9.1! And one out of every 50 people uses one of the top 20 worst passwords..”

Whew; none of mine are on the list. And as the article says, if yours are, change them immediately.

By the way, does it strike you that most of the 500 seem slightly, um, nerd-centric?

12 barks and woofs on “Remember Your Password?

  1. Okay, how about wannabe-nerd centric? 🙂 It sounds like the password roster of the characters from “The Big Bang Theory.”

  2. Okay, how about wannabe-nerd centric? 🙂 It sounds like the password roster of the characters from “The Big Bang Theory.”

  3. None of mine are on it. I had a job for several years where I had to change my password every month and couldn’t reuse them. As a history nerd, the easiest thing for me to remember was a name and year combination like franklin1776 or 1914wwi, but more obscure.

  4. None of mine are on it. I had a job for several years where I had to change my password every month and couldn’t reuse them. As a history nerd, the easiest thing for me to remember was a name and year combination like franklin1776 or 1914wwi, but more obscure.

  5. “nerd centric” didn’t pop off the page at me the way “Mullet haired beer guzzling redneck” did. One of my dogs names is on there, but hackers, listen up…it’s the OTHER dog whose name I use for passwords.

  6. “nerd centric” didn’t pop off the page at me the way “Mullet haired beer guzzling redneck” did. One of my dogs names is on there, but hackers, listen up…it’s the OTHER dog whose name I use for passwords.

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