Adobe security hack shows people still use bad passwords – the words you shouldn’t use

In October, Adobe revealed hackers had accessed the password data for three million users, along with the source code for several of its products.

The true number of users affected has turned out to be far, far larger. On October 30, Adobe admitted as many as 38 million users had had their data compromised. It now appears 150 million users in total had their account details collected.

You can check whether your Adobe password is on the compromised list here, and change it here. If you used the same password for other accounts, you should change those too.

The breach is yet another instance of a large company taking the financial security and privacy of its users casually. Recent examples include Sony and LinkedIn. Like those cases, Adobe’s passwords were weakly encrypted (those interested in the technical failings can find them here).

No excuses should be made for large corporates who should know better and whose customers deserve better. However, in Adobe’s favour, it’s come to light that plenty of its users took password security as casually as it did.

Jeremi Gosney of the Stricture Group analysed the password data dump, which is now freely available online, and came up with the 100 most common passwords on there.

The hacked database helped him do this more quickly. But essentially, these people had weak account protection regardless of whether or not Adobe was hacked.

Here are the 20 passwords easily found by Gosney. If you use one these, don’t. Download a password manager, and use that to generate random passwords. It’s quicker than typing ABC.

1. 123456 – used by 1,911,938 people

2. 123456789 – 446,162 people

3. password – 345,834 people

4. adobe123 – 211,659 people

5. 12345678 – 201,580 people

6. qwerty – 130,832 people

7. 1234567 – 124,253 people

8. 111111 – 113,884 people

9. photoshop – 83,411 people

10. 123123 – 82,694 people

11. 1234567890 – 76,910 people

12. 000000 – 76,186 people

13. abc123 – 70,791 people

14. 1234 – 61,453 people

15. adobe1 – 56,744 people

16. macromedia – 54,651 people

17. azerty – 48,850 people

18. iloveyou – 47,142 people

19. aaaaaa – 44,281 people

20. 654321 – 43,670 people


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