Most Commonly Hacked Passwords 2019
Analysis of the 100,000 most common passwords hacked globally was released in a report by Britain’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) The list is comprised of the top 10k passwords accessed by hackers. The hacked passwords were found to be involved in global cyber security breaches and are in circulation on the dark web. The list was released by NCSC in collaboration with the Have I Been Pwned website.
Analysis of the most common passwords reveals a concerning cyber security practice. Predictable reused passwords present a real security issue for online accounts. Passwords need to be difficult to hack, but not difficult to remember. Choosing consecutive numbers and letters are easy to remember but terrible for online security. Many online systems don’t allow consecutive letters or numbers, but it obvious from this data that millions still do.
Hackers use repositories of common passwords, dictionary words, sports team names, and cities along with computer programs to brute force hack at login credentials. If a hacker has your email address, then they only need to use a computer algorithm to work toward gaining more access. Online credentials can be gleaned from social media accounts or from sniffing WiFi traffic. In a social engineering attack, hackers can scrape user password reset questions – like hometown and pet names – to reset your password.
People Worry About Cyber Security
The NCSC data was collected from a phone survey of the general public from November 2018 to January 2019. The survey found that 70% of respondents believed they would be a victim of a cyber crime within the next two years. Protecting their privacy was a concern for 51% of those surveyed while 52% were concerned about preventing their money from being stolen online. However, 46% found that information on how to be secure online was confusing with only 15% saying that they understood a great deal about how to protect themselves online.
Top Ten Most Common Passwords
The data was taken from a global list of 100,000 most common passwords found on the dark web and therefore accessed by hackers. Rounding out the top ten most hacked passwords are 12345678, abc123, 1234567, password1, and 12345. If you want to see the full list, you can download it from the UK’s NCIS website.
The top hacked password is the first six numbers from a standard keypad. That’s just plain lazy. Over twenty-three million accounts were hacked by guessing the ultra-weak 123456 passwords. To get the second most hacked password, simply append three more numbers to arrive at 123456789 which had almost 7.7 million hacked accounts associated with it. The third most hacked password is also a low effort attempt at cyber security – qwerty – the name for a keyboard configuration taken from the first row of letters is associated with 3.8 million hacked accounts. Another horrifying member of the list comes in at number four with the actual word “password” which must be one of the lamest passwords of all time. The fifth most hacked password is a string of ones, 111111, that is associated with 3.6 million and 3.1 million hacked accounts respectively. These are all for listed on the dark web.
Number of Hacked Passwords / Accounts
- 123456 (23.2 million)
- 123456789 (7.7 million)
- qwerty (3.8 million)
- password (3.6 million)
- 111111 (3.1 million)
My Password is on the Hacked List. What Should I Do?
If you see a familiar password on this list, change it immediately. Developers can use the list to set up a system to ban them from the authentication process. Do not reuse passwords across multiple accounts. For example, don’t use the same password for your email as you do for your online banking.
Publishing this list of hacked passwords does not help hackers. The list was already out there on the dark web accessible by anyone who knows how to get to it. So, releasing the list makes no difference.
How to Create a Secure Password
Password re-use is a major cyber security risk that can be easily avoided with a little awareness and effort. Creating strong passwords also takes a little more effort, certainly more than using something as weak as password123 or the first six numbers on a keyboard. People names, bands, and sports team names are also common passwords that should not be used, even when coupled to strings of numbers. Blink182 was the most common band name seen on the hacked password list. Ashley and Michael were the most commonly used names.
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers