Fittest loser
Article posted: 7/21/2012 7:54 AM

The most common passwords from the Yahoo mail leak

“Sunshine” and “princess” were among the top 10 base words used to create aboout 400,000 Yahoo Mail passwords.

"Sunshine" and "princess" were among the top 10 base words used to create aboout 400,000 Yahoo Mail passwords.

 
 1 of 1 
 
text size: AAA
By Tori Bosch, Slate

We learned last week that about 400,000 Yahoo Mail passwords were apparently leaked. Another annoying bit of news for those who struggle to come up with new secret codes. But it has given us another look into the psychology of password creation.

Both Swedish security expert Anders Nilsson and Declan McCullagh of CNET ran the numbers on the leaked passwords. Their results differ very slightly in a few places, but mostly match up. "abcdef," strings of keyboard letters like "qwerty" and ascending numerals were common. More interesting are the most frequently used "base words," according to Nilsson:

Advertisement

password

welcome

qwerty

monkey

jesus

love

money

freedom

ninja

writer

The overall top 10 also include "sunshine" and "princess." (We love freedom, monkeys, sunshine, and ninjas -- yes, that sounds like the Internet.) Among the top-used first names, according to McCullagh's list, are michael, jordan and michelle (case sensitive). Nilsson also indicates that of passwords that end in a number 0-9, 1 is, not surprisingly, the most popular. When a number is required, it's so tempting to just move your left pinky to tack on a 1. But 5, which came in last, may be the safer choice.

"monkey" also shows up (along with "qwerty," "password," and the other gimmes) among the common passwords from the 2010 Gawker hack. Makes sense -- who doesn't love a monkey? But the Gawker list has a slightly darker edge to it than the Yahoo one: "trustno1" edges out "princess" and "sunshine."

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Business Video
Area Business Calendar

BusinessDirectory

Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity