Access Not Denied

Graphs Of The Cracked Gawker Passwords

by Stephen Von Worley on December 15, 2010

On Sunday, hackers broke into Gawker Media, stole the user database, and promptly posted it on the Internet. Now, the email addresses and passwords of 1.3 million Gawker accounts – used to post comments to Gizmodo, Deadspin, Lifehacker and other major blogs – were exposed to prying eyes of all kinds.

Fortunately, Gawker protected the passwords by encoding them. Alas, they goofed and used obsolete 1980s-era technology to do it. The upshot? Anyone could grab the database, run it through a cracker, and in minutes, have their hands on literally thousands of Gawker Media account passwords.

Gawker Common Passwords

Both the hackers and security researchers did just that, and in the best visual analysis thus far, the Wall Street Journal charts the 50 most popular passwords (excerpted above). Some key findings:

  • The most common password? 123456.
  • The second most common? password.
  • Fox Mulder might have been sharp, but trustno1 is not.
  • baseball > superman > football > soccer > batman.

Read more, including graphs of password length and preference by email domain, on the WSJ’s Digits blog.

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