2017 has been quite a year for hacking headlines and data breaches and it seems that despite all the warnings and advice some people, who really should know better, are still putting themselves and others at risk.
Dashlane, the award-winning password manager, has revealed their annual list of the Worst Password Offenders and you probably won’t be surprised to see some of the names who make the 10-strong list.
The rankings, which are in their second year, look at the high-profile organisations and individuals who suffered the biggest blunders, caused by password problems, in the last 12 months.
If you’ve read our top tips for creating the perfect password you will know the importance of using a different password for every account and creating them using completely unrelated words.
But it seems even companies who look after the personal data of millions of innocent people still don’t spend enough time or effort on their own data protection.
Equifax was the subject of a major data breach earlier this year which allowed cybercriminals to access the information of more than 150 million people across the US, UK and Canada.
When you hear about their choice of passwords it’s hardly surprising that the breaches occurred. It was discovered that they had, in fact, used a username/password combination of admin/admin across some of their accounts!
Even though this blunder sounds horrendous it was only bad enough to earn them second spot, with US President Donald Trump topping the rankings.
Trump has stolen the headlines worldwide since his inauguration in January, but rarely for the right reasons when it comes to cybersecurity and his social media profiles.
A report by Channel 4 news, as early as January, found that top White House staff and key members of Trump’s administration, including cybersecurity advisor Rudy Giuliani, had been using old, insecure and simple passwords.
If that wasn’t bad enough, when they were attempting to keep some of the world’s biggest secrets secure, they were also using the same passwords to access various different accounts, including their personal e-mail accounts.
Trump also had direct connections to three other offenders who made the list; The Republican Party, Paul Manafort, his recently indicted campaign manager, and his former Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
2017 also saw various cyber headlines for the Trump Organisation including the news that hackers compromised the organisation four years ago and the company never noticed.
There were also data breaches at 14 Trump Organisation properties including Trump Las Vegas and Trump Chicago, which saw payment card numbers and card security codes compromised.
The UK government haven’t fared a whole heap better though, as they took third spot after an investigation by The Times discovered that Russian hackers were trading thousands of passwords belonging to MPs, parliamentary staff, and officials in the Foreign Office.
The investigation found that most of the passwords were stolen from previous breaches, but had remained unchanged!
This coupled with the revelations that MP’s often share their passwords with other staff members, means they have a lot to learn if they’re not to be named among next year’s offenders.
The full list is as follows:
US Department of Defense