Gawker users' top passwords all too easy to guess
Published 15/12/2010 | 11:54
A list of passwords stolen from the American blogging network, Gawker Media, shows that even supposedly technology-savvy internet users are too careless when choosing their passwords.
Analysis of almost 200,000 of the stolen passwords shows that the most common were “123456” and “password”.
These passwords are easy for hackers to guess and they also pose a wider security risk because many people use the same password for every website they visit.
Soon after the data was hacked, thousands of Gawker users - visitors to sites like gadget blog Gizmodo and video game website Kotaku - had their Twitter accounts hijacked because they had used the same password there.
Around one third of people use the same password for every website they visit, according to research by security analysts Sophos. Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “You should use a different password on every website.”
Cluley recommended using password management software, such as 1Password or LastPass, to help keep track of your logins. He said: “They help you generate secure passwords and all you have to do is remember one master password.”
Comparing the leaked Gawker passwords with data leaked from social games website RockYou earlier this year and from email service Hotmail last year shows that several passwords are very common, including “123456” and “iloveyou”.
Names of technology companies, such as Samsung and Dell, often appear in lists of common passwords because users trying to think of a password type in the first word they see - the one written on their monitor.