Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Protecting us from ourselves ... never mind others

05 December 2012

It's true.  Of the computer users hacked in the Greek Finance Ministry, 37% were using the same password. The SAME password!  Not only that, but the password they were using was Number 2 in the study on the most commonly-used passwords in 2012.  And, appropriately enough for a Finance Ministry, that password was '123456'.  The hackers certainly didn't need the services of Einstein for that one.

So says my IT-friendly colleague, Paul Hutchison, who knows all about these things ... who was told by The Register, that was informed by the password app SplashData from their study of hacked websites and compromised databases.  You get the idea.  Information is shared these days at an alarming rate.

123456 at Number 2 pipped the Number 3 contender of '12345678' (much more effort involved there) but fell short of the Number 1 password.  Yes, that's right.  The Number 1 password was ... 'password'.  Unbelievable but true.  Not only that, but it was Number 1 last year too, so these passwords clearly don't change.

On a brighter note, it was encouraging to see some new entries on the list this year, although admittedly you have to scroll down to Number 17 to find the first one ... 'welcome' ... with 'jesus' making a surprise entry at Number 21.  Despair returns when you learn that the new entrant just making Number 25 is 'password1'.

If you'd like some pointers on setting your passwords (which you may well want to do very soon if you recognise any of yours noted above), take some tips from the Kaspersky Team at

A random mix of upper and lower case, alpha and numeric characters is all very well, but the basic problem is that we tend to forget.  For my part, I go looooooooong and simply set my password as a phrase, with appropriate capitals, punctuation and spaces, which doesn't tax me too much at Log In.  Be safe.

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Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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