When you get hacked, you’re probably going to deserve it

by Pramod Dibble 21 Jan 2015
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                Every other week, some major corporation or government agency seems to be getting hacked. We beat our brows over the loss of personal data, and wail about those dastardly hackers and how could they do such a thing?!; then go log onto Netflix with the password “password”. Because how could I possibly be expected to remember anything more complicated? And a different one for every site?! That’s just madness…

                Computer programs are information organized logically. That’s all. You, as the programmer (hacker in this case) can organize the information any way you’d like; you define the logic. You can teach it to recognize common phrases (yippeekiyay),check for capitalization (YipPiekIyay), numbers in the place of letters (Y1pp33k1yay), and common symbols at the beginning or end of those phrases (Yippiekiyay#!). So even putting them all together (Y1pP133k1yAy#!) makes a fairly easy password to crack. So no, despite what the IT guys says, adding numbers and symbols to your password actually makes no difference.

                The best passwords are several unrelated words smashed together (jellyninjapantalonesMegatron). They’re easy to remember, almost impossible to crack, and great opening lines at a party if you don’t mind everyone knowing your password. Just do that, and remember it. I promise, it’s easy if you put in any more than 4 seconds of effort.

                SplashData released its annual “worst passwords” of 2014 report. The 25 topping this list-of-shame are ridiculous. And to be perfectly honest, if you’re using one of these and get hacked, I have absolutely no sympathy for you.

  1. 123456 (Same - 2013)
  2. password (Same - 2013)
  3. 12345 (Up 17)
  4. 12345678 (Down 1)
  5. qwerty (Down 1)
  6. 234567890 (Same - 2013)
  7. 1234 (Up 9)
  8. baseball (New)
  9. dragon (New)
  10. football (New)
  11. 1234567 (Down 4)
  12. monkey (Up 5)
  13. letmein (Up 1)
  14. abc123 (Down 9)
  15. 111111 (Down 8)
  16. mustang (New)
  17. access (New)
  18. shadow (Same - 2013)
  19. master (New)
  20. michael (New)
  21. superman (New)
  22. 696969 (New)
  23. 123123 (Down 12)
  24. batman (New)
  25. trustno1 (Down 1)
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