The Majority of Passwords Worldwide Are Vulnerable

By Dialogo
February 28, 2013

A great deal of digital passwords generally used to access different services, such as Internet, online banking through computers, smart phones or tablets, are vulnerable due to repetition, according to a report published by Deloitte in February in Panama.

The document assured that 91 percent of accounts, which in theory are secure, can be accessed through the 1,000 most common passwords used(out of six million real passwords created in the study).

The possibility of accessing passwords in social networks, commercial platforms, bank accounts or any other service that can be accessed through new technological devices, makes them highly vulnerable against hackers.

Moreover, 79 percent of people use the 500 most common passwords, while 40 percent use the 100 most popular ones, and 14 percent, the 10 most widely used passwords.

“The main problem in passwords is their reutilization. Due to a memory issue, human beings remember about five, six or seven passwords, and they obviously use them for everything, so that is why passwords are so vulnerable,” Francisco Martín, Manager for Deloitte in Panama, told AFP.

“This wouldn’t be so serious if we only took the time to elaborate passwords that are not so easily decipherable,” he added.

The most widely used passwords are the names of the user and their family members, combined with birth dates, all easily obtainable information by hackers in social networks. They later use software to introduce hypothetical passwords based on these patterns massively, until there is a match.

Furthermore, a 9.8 percent of users write “password 123456 or 12345678” as passwords; 8.5 percent use “password or 123456” and a 4.7 percent use “password”. According to the research, the passwords created in mobile devices tend to be less secure than the ones used in a traditional computer, since it is easier to access characters and it is not necessary to change screens.

In addition, the average user takes 4-5 seconds to write a secure 10-character password in a PC, while it takes 7-30 seconds if they do it on a smart phone with a touch screen.

The study analyzes the main technological trends in 15 European and American countries, as well as South Africa.

It was missing the test to detect the passwords vulnerability…