Daily Management Review

New Security Study Finds Millions Use 123456 As Password For Email Accounts


New Security Study Finds Millions Use 123456 As Password For Email Accounts
A very recent study has found that easy-to-guess passwords on sensitive accounts are being used by millions of people.
123456 was found to be the most widely-used password on accounts that had been breached, found analysis of the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The gap in cyber-knowledge which could make people vulnerable to cyber attacks has been helped to uncover in the study.
Analysts suggest that a strong password can be created by stringing together three random but memorable words, the NCSC report said. This study, which was the first cyber-survey by the NCSC, its analysts accessed public databases of breached accounts to find out the words, phrases and strings that were used the most by the owners of the accounts.
And with it appearing in more than 23 million passwords, the most used password for the breached accounts was 123456. And not much harder to crack was the second pass word used most widely – 123456789. Other most popular passwords among the top 5 which were used in the hacked accounts included "qwerty", "password" and 1111111. Ashley was the most common name to be used in passwords, the study found while the rest most common name includes Michael, Daniel, Jessica and Charlie.
Liverpool are champions and Chelsea are second when in case of account holders using football team names from the English Premier League as passwords of their accounts. The chart for music acts as passwords was topped by Blink-182.
Dr Ian Levy, technical director of the NCSC said that the risks of accounts being hacked increases when people make use of very well-known words or names as the passwords for their accounts. "Nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band," he said.
Online account holders were also surveyed by the study to get an idea about their security habits and fears. The study found that the fear of losing out money to online fraud was primary for 42 per cent of the respondents while only 15 per cent of the respondents expressed their confidence on the strength of their passwords to protect themselves from hackers. The survey also found that less than half of the respondents made use of a separate and a hard-to-guess password for the main email account that they used.
Picking a good password was the "single biggest control" that users had over their online security, said security expert Troy Hunt, who maintains a database of hacked account data. "We typically haven't done a very good job of that either as individuals or as the organisations asking us to register with them," he said.
He added that online account holders would be able to make better choices if they are informed about those passwords that are widely used.
The survey was published ahead of the NCSC's Cyber UK conference that will be held in Glasgow from 24-25 April.