Every other week, some major corporation or government agency seems to be getting hacked.
We beat our brows over the loss of personal data, and wail about those dastardly hackers and how could they do such a thing?; then go log onto Netflix with the password “password”.
“Because how could I possibly be expected to remember anything more complicated?” questions Pramod Dibble, analyst, Frost and Sullivan. “And a different one for every site?! That’s just madness…”
Dibble says computer programs are information organised logically.
“That’s all,” he explains, “you, as the programmer (hacker in this case) can organise the information any way you’d like; you define the logic.
“You can teach it to recognise common phrases (yippeekiyay),check for capitalisation (YipPiekIyay), numbers in the place of letters (Y1pp33k1yay), and common symbols at the beginning or end of those phrases (Yippiekiyay#!).
“So even putting them all together (Y1pP133k1yAy#!) makes a fairly easy password to crack. So no, despite what the IT guys says, adding numbers and symbols to your password actually makes no difference.”
According to Dibble, the best passwords are several unrelated words smashed together (jellyninjapantalonesMegatron).
“They’re easy to remember, almost impossible to crack, and great opening lines at a party if you don’t mind everyone knowing your password,” Dibble claims.
“Just do that, and remember it. I promise, it’s easy if you put in any more than four seconds of effort.”
SplashData released its annual “worst passwords” of 2014 report - “the 25 topping this list-of-shame are ridiculous,” Dibble adds.
“And to be perfectly honest, if you’re using one of these and get hacked, I have absolutely no sympathy for you.”
Worst passwords of 2014
123456 (Same - 2013) password (Same - 2013) 12345 (Up 17) 12345678 (Down 1) qwerty (Down 1) 234567890 (Same - 2013) 1234 (Up 9) baseball (New) dragon (New) football (New) 1234567 (Down 4) monkey (Up 5) letmein (Up 1) abc123 (Down 9) 111111 (Down 8) mustang (New) access (New) shadow (Same - 2013) master (New) michael (New) superman (New) 696969 (New) 123123 (Down 12) batman (New) trustno1 (Down 1)