Friday, December 17, 2010

The most popular password on Gawker? 123456

I commented a couple of days ago that '12345' was probably about as popular a password as 'password' on Gawker. After analyzing roughly 1/3 of the passwords stolen from Gawker, researchers have learned that the most popular password is '123456.' Second is 'password.' I remember laughing at King Roland in Spaceballs because the combination to the air shield was '12345,' and laughing more when President Skroob announced it was the same as the combination to his luggage.

Strong passwords aren't as important as they used to be. Sites limit the number of password attempts before locking you out, so it's not as easy for someone to brute force an account. And if a site doesn't lock you out after so many failed attempts, a "strong" password may not matter. Using rainbow tables a strong 12 character password will hold out less than 3 minutes.

But '123456' is still a poor choice for a password.