Most hacked passwords revealed in warning over cybersecurity

Most hacked passwords revealed in warning over cybersecurity

Easily guessed passwords being used across multiple accounts have been highlighted as a major gap in the online security practices of UK internet users.

A survey by the National Cyber Security (NCSC) found that many British internet users did not know the best ways to protect themselves from cybercrime.

Only 15% said they knew “a great deal” about how to protect themselves from harmful activity online, while less than half said they always used a strong, separate password for their main email account.

The findings were released ahead of the NCSC’s CyberUK 2019 conference in Glasgow, which will be used to inform Government policy and the guidance it offers to business and the public.

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. password
  5. 1111111

The research also included lists of the most commonly used passwords globally, highlighting the number of easily guessed log-ins still being widely used.

123456 was the most used, ahead of 123456789 and qwerty – the series of letters which appear in a line on a computer keyboard – the word password and 1111111.

NCSC technical director Dr Ian Levy said: “We understand that cybersecurity can feel daunting to a lot of people, but the National Cyber Security Centre has published lots of easily applicable advice to make you much less vulnerable.

“Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided – nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band.

“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”

Ashley was revealed to be the most common name used in a password, followed by Michael, Daniel, Jessica and Charlie.

Liverpool was the most common Premier League Football team used in a password, with Blink 182 the most common music act.

Security researcher Troy Hunt, whose website Have I Been Pwned allows users to check if any of their accounts have been compromised in cyber attacks by collecting data from those breaches – and helped compile the list, said internet users needed to be more creative in their approach to passwords.

- Press Association

More in this Section

In Pictures: Standoff between fox and marmot wins top photography prizeIn Pictures: Standoff between fox and marmot wins top photography prize

Brexit-free news channel launched by Sky NewsBrexit-free news channel launched by Sky News

Armed police drive pregnant woman to hospital in time to give birthArmed police drive pregnant woman to hospital in time to give birth

'Let me out!' Irish grandfather pulls viral prank at own funeral'Let me out!' Irish grandfather pulls viral prank at own funeral


Lifestyle

Can you imagine Spanish churros, Moroccan tagines or even Christmas cakes without its fragrant taste?MIchelle Darmody: Warm smells of cinnamon

Rachel Howard visits the South Moravia region to sample this eastern European country’s finest tipples.They’re big on beer but could the Czech Republic be raising a glass to wine tourism too?

Lisa Salmon catches up with a cardiologist, who explains how a patient’s own stem cells can repair damage from heart disease and heart failure.How stem cells are mending broken hearts

Hannah Stephenson discovers America’s dark past and Martin Luther King’s vision for its future by following the civil rights trail.Charting America’s path to freedom on a road trip through the Deep South

More From The Irish Examiner