If your password is 123456, just make it HackMe

Despite all the reports of internet security breaches over the years, many computer users have reacted to the break-ins with a shrug, reports the New York Times. According to a new analysis, one out of five web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: They choose a simple, easily guessed password like “abc123,” “iloveyou,” or even “password” to protect their data. The analysis suggests that school IT personnel have their work cut out for them in educating network users of the importance of password security. A list of 32 million passwords that an unknown hacker stole last month from RockYou, a company that makes software for users of social-networking web sites, was briefly posted on the web, and hackers and security researchers have downloaded the list for analysis. Internet security firm Imperva found that nearly 1 percent of the 32 million people it studied had used “123456” as a password. The second-most-popular password was “12345.” Others in the top 20 included “qwerty,” “abc123,” and “princess.” More disturbing was that about 20 percent of people on the RockYou list picked from the same, relatively small pool of 5,000 passwords. That suggests hackers could easily break into many accounts just by trying the most common passwords. Because of the prevalence of fast computers and speedy networks, hackers can fire off thousands of password guesses per minute…

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