Just last month, we found out that hackers have breached Adobe’s network and stole source code for a variety of Adobe products as well as accessing and posting online Adobe customer account information, including customer IDs, email addresses, passwords, and encrypted credit card details amongst others. Unfortunate as it is, cyber attacks have just become more and more prevalent as time goes on. Large companies with popular products such as Adobe get a lot of attention from cyber hackers, but even smaller companies and startups have more pressure now than ever to keep their networks, systems and consumer data under watertight security measures.
If you haven’t taken steps already, now is a great time to get serious about protecting yourself online – every time another breach happens we’re reminded to change our passwords, but that simply isn’t enough if you don’t follow the basic guidelines of internet security:
- Use complex passwords
- Never use the same password for more than one service
- Don’t state your password itself in the “hint”
- Don’t give out your password to others
While quite simple in principle, these guidelines tend to be very difficult to follow since it’s difficult to memorize too many different combinations of password you may use. Even then, many people still don’t take the idea of being hacked or having their personal information stolen too seriously. Below we can see by the Adobe breach, courtesy of Jeremi Gosney and the security firm Stricture Consulting Group, what the top 100 passwords used by Adobe users are. This is a glimpse for everyone, hackers especially, to see how people select passwords on a large scale.
Top 100 Adobe Passwords
We can learn a lot from this data dump, foremost that none of these passwords constitutes as “complex.” If you happen to use any of the above as a password for anything, that needs to be the first thing you change – follow the general guidelines above when coming up with new passwords. Secondly, never use the same password for anything else; the same way we can learn from others in this situation, so can hackers. Once they figure out your email address along with your password, no matter how complex, if you use it for other services such as shopping sites, email, or social media, they can use that password to try to break into your other accounts which can further wreak more havoc, especially retail sites that may have your credit card or bank information stored. If your password is discovered, you should not only change the password on the site in question but also anywhere else you may be using it.
Gosney mentioned via ZDNet that it only took a few hours to determine the top 100 passwords, and the Adobe database that was breached affected at least 130 million Adobe accounts. Use this link if you want to check to see if you may be a victim of the Adobe breach, and if so, how many people use the same password that you do.