Is your password 123456?

Real Estate Agent with Downing-Frye Realty, Inc - the best in SW Florida

The New York Times published a great article by ASHLEE VANCE on January 2010, entitled "If your password is 123456 just make it Hackme", which is worth bringing to your attentoin a year later!

She reports that “back at the dawn of the Web, the most popular account password was “12345, today, it’s one digit longer but hardly safer: “123456.”   Internet users still have simple passwords, despite all the hackers. 

“I guess it’s just a genetic flaw in humans,” said Amichai Shulman, the chief technology officer at Imperva, which makes software for blocking hackers. “We’ve been following the same patterns since the 1990s.” 

In December 2010, a hacker stole 32 million passwords from RockYou, a software company for users of social networks like Facebook and Myspace.  Shulman’s  company was able to examine those  32 million passwords, since the list of passwords was shown on the Web for a short time.  Schulman found that 20% of people on the list used the relatively small amount of 5,000 passwords:  1% of the 32 million people used “123456” as a password. The second-most-popular password was “12345.” Others in the top 20 included “qwerty,” “abc123” and “princess.”

If you are presently using any of these common passwords – change them.  Hackers can easily get into your account just by typing in the most commonly used passwords when they use their fast computers to try thousands of password guesses per minute.  “We tend to think of password guessing as a very time-consuming attack in which I take each account and try a large number of name-and-password combinations,” Mr. Shulman said. “The reality is that you can be very effective by choosing a small number of common passwords.” 

So, if hackers can make guesses of frequently used passwords, why not change your password to something more secure?
Have you noticed that Web sites now want you to enter mix letters, numbers and even symbols in their passwords, or prevent you from signing up with frequently used passwords ?

The full article can be accessed by clicking here.




Posted by

Christine R. Sutherland, REALTOR®
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.  Naples & Bonita Springs, FLORIDA
Phone:          239-465-4525



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Don Wixom
RE/MAX Advantage Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Christine, that is pretty amazing.  My password is ********* and I don't realize how simple it might be to hack!  ;)

I guess the same might go for PIN's and garage door openers...

Feb 04, 2011 02:36 PM #1
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Good to be tuned in to something so big.  Had no idea, but better believe that I will make it a little harder to figure out.

Feb 04, 2011 02:38 PM #2
Andres Munar
Keystone Alliance Mortgage - State College, PA
Experience The Difference

Thats some crazy stuff there. Thankfully my password is neither of those. With every site now requiring you to have one capital, one lower case, one number, one of this one of that it's getting harder to keep track of my passwords lol I guess that's a good think for me so hackers won't get in

Feb 04, 2011 02:39 PM #3
Christine R. Sutherland
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc - the best in SW Florida - Naples, FL

Andres, yes, companies are requesting this now, but apparently some comnpanies still accept "easy" passwords, and MANY consumers still enter these easy to remember passwords.  Makes you wonder!


Feb 04, 2011 02:43 PM #4
Keith Vermilyea
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Boise, ID

It's tough to remember so many passwords but I agree it's well worth avoiding the common once you list in your post, great information and thanks for sharing.

Feb 04, 2011 03:06 PM #5
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