RockYou hack shows '123456' remains a top password


A list of most popular passwords has been released today as a result of the hack last year.

Data Security company Imperva analysed the 32 million passwords exposed due to the data breach on the social application site in 2009, showing the top ten which it says should be avoided when using social networking or e-commerce sites.

"Everyone needs to understand what the combination of poor passwords means in today's world of automated cyber attacks: with only minimal effort, a hacker can gain access to one new account every second or 1000 accounts every 17 minutes," said Imperva's chief technology officer (CTO) Amichai Shulman, in a statement.

Top of the list was 123456,' followed in second by 12345' and third by 123456789.' The seemingly obvious passwords continued with Password' coming in fourth place and iloveyou' in fifth.

The key point of the report is to make sure passwords avoid being short and simple, to make them as strong as possible.

There are also risks for businesses if users don't up their security game.

"Employees using the same passwords on Facebook that they use in the workplace bring the possibility of compromising enterprise systems with insecure passwords, especially if they are using easy to crack passwords like 123456'," added Shulman.

"The problem has changed very little over the past 20 years. It's time for everyone to take password security seriously; it's an important first step in data security."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.