Analysis of 18 Million Passwords Reveals "123456" Still Most Common

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 27, 2016
DevilComputer$75 billion in cybersecurity consulting worldwide has not changed the fact that, despite dozens of high-profile data breaches, "123456" remains the most common password, based on an analysis of 18 million passwords. Such a password is pathetically easy for a human to guess, let alone a computer program able to process millions of potential passwords per second. Along with the passwords was highly detailed user information: the analyst hoped to use demographic data to find correlations in how different people construct passwords, but across the board he found the same patterns, meaning that no matter who you are, how you think about passwords probably isn't that much different than anyone else. People in engineering, military, healthcare, architectural services, food services, and insurance occupations all had "123456" as their most popular password. The only exception was people who work in biotechnology, whose most popular password was "asdf123," with "123456" instead taking second place.



Beyond this, the analysis also found certain consistent behavioral patterns with password generation. For one, people who start their passwords with a number usually end it with a number as well. It also found that Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Muslims and Jews had better password security than Christians. It also found that politicians had better password security than any other profession. 

The takeaway from all this, it seems, is to please, please, please get stronger passwords. At the very least, get away from "123456." For all our sake. 

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