Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

'Password' no longer the top choice for computer passwords – but the new one is not much better.. -

'Password' no longer the top choice for computer passwords – but the new one is not much better.. - 

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.

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’.

Rank Password Change
1 123456 Up 1
2 password Down 1
3 12345678 Unchanged
4 qwerty Up 1
5 abc123 Down 1
6 123456789 New
7 111111 Up 2
8 1234567 Up 5
9 iloveyou Up 2
10 adobe123 New
11 123123 Up 5
12 admin New
13 1234567890 New
14 letmein Down 7
15 photoshop New
16 1234 New
17 monkey Down 11
18 shadow Unchanged
19 sunshine Down 5
20 12345 New
21 password1 Up 4
22 princess New
23 azerty New
24 trustno1 Down 12
25 0 New


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