A recent report highlighted that in 2023, '123456' remained the most commonly used password by both Indian and global users, revealing concerning trends in password security.
The findings, compiled by password management company NordPass, unveiled a worrisome pattern of weak passwords extensively employed for streaming accounts and other online platforms.
Among Indians, passwords featuring specific locations or references were notably prevalent. Notably, 'India@123' ranked high on the list, reflecting a tendency to incorporate country-related terms.
The persistence of 'admin' as a commonly used password, likely due to users neglecting to change default settings, was a recurrent issue identified not just in India but in multiple countries.
Despite efforts to promote stronger password practices, last year's global favorite 'password' remained prevalent, alongside variations like 'Pass@123' and 'Password@123', especially in India.
Researchers delved into a vast 6.6 TB database of passwords exposed by various malware, underscoring the significant cybersecurity threat posed by such incidents.
Tomas Smalakys, NordPass' CTO, highlighted the stealthy nature of malware, often concealed within deceptive phishing emails masquerading as legitimate entities, thereby infecting computers without users' awareness.
A concerning revelation was that nearly a third (31%) of the most popular passwords globally constituted solely numerical sequences, making them highly susceptible to breaches, including '123456789' and '000000'.
The report alarmingly indicated that 70% of these frequently used passwords could be cracked in under a second, emphasizing the urgent need for better security measures.
In response to these vulnerabilities, researchers advocated for Passkeys as a potential solution, aiming to enhance security by discouraging the use of weak passwords. However, they acknowledged that the adoption of passwordless authentication might take time to become widespread despite its potential to bolster user security.
Smalakys emphasized the significance of advancing security measures to mitigate the prevalence of easily cracked passwords, acknowledging that the transition to passwordless authentication might be gradual but ultimately beneficial for users' online safety.
(With Agency Inputs)