Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Sports clubs and TV shows among passwords easily guessed by hackers | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


New data from Cyber Skills has revealed that popular sports clubs, renowned radio personalities, and beloved TV programmes are among the most commonly used passwords online, making them prime targets for cybercriminals.

Utilising the HaveIBeenPwned website, which houses over 613 million passwords from hacked accounts, a study was conducted to assess the vulnerability of certain passwords. 

By inputting names of prominent Irish celebrities, sports teams, and cultural content, the results showed that these seemingly “unique” choices were, in actuality, widespread and easily guessable by hackers.

In light of these findings, and because October is Cyber Security Month, Irish people are being urged to re-evaluate and strengthen their password choices. 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Digital Identity Guidelines emphasises the importance of secure password practices, advising organisations to block subscribers from using passwords that have previously appeared in a data breach. 

This recommendation underscores the significance of selecting passwords that have not been compromised in past cyber incidents.

“Glenroe finished over 20 years ago on TV, yet it’s been used nearly 90 times in the hacked password database.” 

Dr Hazel Murray from Cyber Skills said: “What many consider a ‘strong’ password, referencing cultural touchpoints, is in fact easily deciphered by cybercriminals. 

“There’s a common misconception that if a password contains personal information or interests that it will be strong. Good passwords are multiple words strung together and avoid easily recognisable phrases.”

“Glenroe finished over 20 years ago on TV, yet it’s been used nearly 90 times in the hacked password database,” she added.

Richard Browne from the National Cyber Security Centre advises internet users to “use strong, long, diverse passwords.”

“The longer the password, the more difficult it is to break. If you go to 10 characters or more it gets very very difficult to break it,” he said.

Some of the most common passwords in the hacked passwords database are “123456” which appeared 36 million times, “qwerty” which appeared 10 million times, and “password” which appeared 9 million times. 

Common hacked passwords with an Irish slant

Cork 

  • corkcity 871 
  • shandonbells 2 times 
  • corkcityfc 99 times 
  • carrigaline 171 times 
  • tanora 86 
  • barrystea 24

Radio 

  • 2johnnies 16 times 
  • patkenny 36 times ​​
  • newstalk 94 times 
  • shanecoleman 5 times 
  • ciarakelly 25 times 
  • jesskelly 49 times 
  • tomdunne 23 times 
  • thestunning 7 times 

Irish Popculture 

  • Maniac2000 115 times 
  • podgeandrodge 70 times 
  • zigandzag 185 times 
  • thecranberries 195 times 
  • aertel 12 times 
  • fatherted 1207 times 
  • mrsdoyle 118 
  • goongoongoon 11 times 
  • fatherjack 138 
  • mrsbrownsboys 27 times 
  • meteireann 20 times 
  • glenroe 87 times 
  • joeduffy 47 times 
  • achtungbaby 1001 times 
  • johnnylogan 15 times 
  • lindamartin 26 times 
  • riverdance 2047 times 
  • lordofthedance 151 times 
  • winningstreak 36 times 
  • echoisland 5 times 
  • fortycoats 9 times 

Politics 

  • oireachtas 330 times 
  • finegael 45 times 
  • fiannafail 75 times 
  • sinnfein 1530 times 
  • bertieahern 18 times 
  • gerryadams 54 times

Sports 

  • shamrockrovers 64 times 
  • corkcityfc 99 times 
  • Munsterrugby198 times 
  • leinsterrugby 14 times 
  • pauloconnell 16 times 
  • liverpoolfc 22,000 
  • manunited 33,000 
  • manchesterunited 11,086 
  • roykeane 2962 
  • soniaosullivan 3 times 
  • mayoforsam 33 times 
  • hill16 837 times 

Irish 

  • samhain 4175 times 
  • newgrange 280 times 
  • bealtaine 46 times 
  • nollaig 441 times 
  • Saoirse 5133 times 
  • baconandcabbage 3 
  • jesusmaryandjoseph 9 
  • gobshite 1542 
  • langer 3961

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