Please… Use Better Passwords

Vice’s website Motherboard shares a regular series of blog posts titled “Another Day, Another Hack.” Using some of these hacks as examples, information security should be a top priority for you and your business.

VK is a website that looks and operates extremely similar to Facebook. As of 2014, VK had 100 million users. In the last few years, the site has been hacked and over 100 million data points were leaked and for sale on the Dark Web. The data is selling for 1 bitcoin, or just under $600 at today’s exchange rates. Among the exposed data were usernames, passwords, email addresses, and phone numbers. The hacker, known ironically as Peace, claims to have access to another 71 million accounts.

Here’s where it gets really sad: The most popular password in the stolen dataset appeared over 700,000 times: 123456. Other popular passwords were “qwerty,” “123123,” and “qwertyuiop.”

For something a little closer to home, as of last month, 117 million LinkedIn emails and passwords have been leaked. This breach was performed by the same hacker, Peace, in 2012, and at the time it was believed only 6.5 million encrypted passwords had been posted online. The reality was much worse than anyone thought. On the Dark Web, 5 bitcoins can get you this leaked LinkedIn data.

The prevalence of password reuse means we’ll see the same weak passwords unlock other accounts, too. Even if you come up with a great password, reusing it 10 times on different websites you use makes it weaker with each use. You may love the ease of 123123, but you’ll wish you’d been a little craftier when someone spends a few hundred bucks to steal your identity.