Top internet passwords can easily be hacked

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.

PTI



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

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