A wide-ranging study of cyber crimes has identified a list of 100,000 most-commonly occurring passwords that have been found in global hacks – and several of them have Minnesota links.
The research has come courtesy of U.K. intelligence agency G.C.H.Q (basically the British N.S.A.) and was commissioned by the British government to serve as a warning for people to take password security seriously.
The compromised passwords were obtained from global breaches that are already in the public domain having been sold or shared by hackers,
The agency identified the 100,000 most-hacked passwords, which was unsurprisingly – and yet shockingly – topped by "12356," which has been the password of 23.2 million known hacking victims worldwide.
This was followed by 123456789, "qwerty," "password," and "1111111."
We've been through the analysis issued by G.C.H.Q. and found that Minnesota-related words pop up several times as compromised passwords.
"Minnesota" was the highest ranked of these, coming 10,618th overall having been the password in 11,413 hacking cases.
Here's a look at the Minnesota-related rankings:
- 10,618th: "Minnesota," used in 11,413 hacks.
- 12,852nd: "Bob Dylan," used in 9,694 hacks.
- 16,320th: "Minnesota1," used in 7,900 hacks.
- 74,443rd: "Vikings," used in 2,466 hacks.
- 84,287th: "Prince1999," used in 2,210 hacks.
- 91,945th: "Duluth," used in 2,042 hacks.
- 94,333rd=: "Prince1" and "stpaul," used in 1,995 hacks.
Interestingly. "Duluth" and "StPaul" feature where "Minneapolis" does not – maybe it's too much of a pain to type that out every time.
TechRadar advises you make your password as strong as possible by mixing in as many lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters as possible.
It notes that hackers using a fast computer can take a fraction of a second to guess a short password made of six random lower case letters.
On the other hand, an 11-character password featuring random lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters would take 500 years to guess.