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Spy agency study finds 23m use 123456 as a password

by Peter Smyth Tech Journalist
21st Apr 19 2:12 pm

According to a study conducted by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) who are partnered with GCHQ, has found that millions of people use the password 123456.

This was the most widely used password to be used on breached accounts, the study uncovered gaps in cyber knowledge.

The cyber survey found that breached accounts analysed shows phrases and strings that people use.

The top of the list was then password 123456 which was used in more than 23m passwords, whilst the second most used is, 123456789.

Others in the top five passwords were ‘qwerty’, ‘password’ and 1111111, none of these passwords are difficult to crack.

The NCSC study further found the most common names to be used in passwords is Ashley that featured in more than 432,000 accounts then Michael and Daniel not far behind.

Dr Ian Levy, GCHQ’s current technical director of cyber security said, “Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided – nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band.

“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”

Troy Hunt, a web security expert said, “Making good password choices is the single biggest control consumers have over their own personal security posture.

“Recognising the passwords that are most likely to result in a successful account takeover is an important first step in helping people create a more secure online presence.”

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