Top internet passwords can easily be hacked
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 08:58
New York: Internet users around the world still tend to use easy to remember passwords that can be easily hacked, an expert said on Saturday.

According to an American newspaper, while '12345' was the most common password when the internet started, it is now '123456'.

One out of five Web users chose passwords like "abc123," "iloveyou" or even "password" that can easily be cracked.

"I guess it's just a genetic flaw in humans," Amichai Shulman, chief technology officer at Imperva, a company that makes software for blocking hackers, told the daily.

"We've been following the same patterns since the 1990s."

Recently, Imperva studied a list of 32 million passwords and found that nearly 1 percent of the 32 million people had used "123456" as a password.

The second-most-popular password was "12345. "Others in the top 20 included "qwerty", "abc123" and "princess".

Further about 20 percent of people picked from the same, relatively small pool of 5,000 passwords. This means that a hacker could break into many accounts by just trying the most common passwords, it said.

The newspaper reports that because of the prevalence of fast computers and speedy networks, hackers can try thousands of 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," Shulman said.

"The reality is that you can be very effective by choosing a small number of common passwords," it said.


First Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 08:58

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