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The Bulletin

The most hacked passwords

Posting in Technology

Shhhh. Don't tell anyone the secret code.

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1-2-3-4

Couldn't you try a little more

To use a password that is secure?

5-6-7-8, the hacker walks right through the gate.

That's a rhyme that millions of password-challenged knuckleheads could be repeating right now after hackers broke into their accounts last month.

Cyber thieves walked off with information from 38 million active customers of Adobe, the San Jose, Calif. company that sells Photoshop, Acrobat, Cold Fusion and other popular software.

Jeremi Gosney from computer security firm Stricture Consulting has determined that 123456 "was the most popular password among the millions of Adobe users whose details were stolen," with 1.9 million people choosing it, the BBC reports. Number two was 123456789 (see longer list below).

Gosney's analysis reaffirmed that cyber citizens continue to choose easy to remember and thus easy to guess passwords, including the third most popular on the Adobe list: "password."

The thieves outright stole usernames and passwords as part of a break-in of Adobe servers. Thus in this case, they were probably spared the guesswork. But people tend to use the same codes across different accounts, so the revelation could open the way for more Internet skulduggery.

Hackers are believed to have obtained credit card and debit card numbers for 2.9 million of the 38 million users, according to the BBC.  They compromised a total of about 150 million accounts, including duplicates and abandoned ones.

The moral of this story is that while hackers will hack, the public can do a few simple things to deter the swines. It's as easy as 1-2-3.

Security as practiced by Adobe users.

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Image is from Texas A&M Extension Service. List is from the BBC.

Effortless cyber invasion:

— By on November 5, 2013, 9:31 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure