Security alert over most popular passwords of 2015

Is your password safe?

Is your password safe?

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The most popular passwords of 2015 have been labelled “dangerous” by security experts because of their simplicity.

The list of log-ins, put together by password management firm SplashData from lists of stolen passwords that appeared online, showed the combination “123456” remains the most popular password among web users, followed by “password”.

Passwords “12345678” and “qwerty” - after the common keyboard layout - both rose into the top five, which was completed by the combination “12345”.

Cyber security experts have been quick to warn internet users it is the popularity of such passwords that make cyber attacks so common.

Brian Spector, from digital security firm Miracl, said: “These are surely some of the easiest passwords to crack, even for the ordinary kid trying to get into their sibling’s Facebook account. A professional cyber criminal would simply laugh at them.”

There were also renewed calls for users to not use the same password across multiple accounts, adding that cyber criminals had access to just as much information as the experts.

Mark James, security expert at cyber firm ESET, said: “The bad guys have access to the same lists we do. When passwords appear in these lists they will be in the top most data used for brute force matching.

“Time is important when you’re trying to guess someone’s password, so hackers want to get it done and move on to the next one as quickly as possible.

“Bear in mind if you are using any of these passwords it won’t take a hacker minutes to guess your password, not even seconds, it will take them less time to find your password than it did for you to enter it.”

The phrases “football”, “letmein” and “login” also featured in the top 20 most common.

Brute force password attacks - where hackers use automated programs of the most common passwords on an account - were reportedly the cause of the iCloud photo hack in 2014, when celebrities including actress Jennifer Lawrence saw images from their iCloud accounts posted online.

Most Popular Passwords of 2015: the list

1. 123456 (Unchanged)

2. password (Unchanged)

3. 12345678 (Up 1)

4. qwerty (Up 1)

5. 12345 (Down 2)

6. 123456789 (Unchanged)

7. football (Up 3)

8. 1234 (Down 1)

9. 1234567 (Up 2)

10. baseball (Down 2)

11. welcome (New)

12. 1234567890 (New)

13. abc123 (Up 1)

14. 111111 (Up 1)

15. 1qaz2wsx (New)

16. dragon (Down 7)

17. master (Up 2)

18. monkey (Down 6)

19. letmein (Down 6)

20. login (New)

21. princess (New)

22. qwertyuiop (New)

23. solo (New)

24. passw0rd (New)

25. starwars (New)