Throughout 2017 I kept a note of all the passwords encountered across 71 onsite penetration tests I was engaged on or peer-reviewed. From all the passwords, two were extremely memorable:
!IAmAdmin! was probably the best worst password encountered for the Administrator user of a windows domain.
P4ssw0rd! is probably the MOST common password used for initial passwords, with Letmein coming a close second. Yet I encountered the password repeatedly throughout a number of engagements during 2017.
Interestingly, from the pool of passwords gained from the engagements throughout 2017, only 21 new passwords were added to my password list out of more than 17,000 passwords cracked. That means 16,971 passwords used were already on my password list. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Making a better passwords
The National Cyber Security Centre advice to use three random words as a passphrase makes great sense, separating the words with special characters helps make a long, hard to break a memorable password. But, while I do not agree with the NCSC’s stance on not needing to change the password, I do believe that you would only need to change the password every six months or so.
Top 25 List
The following list is the top 25 lines from my active password list that provide me with the most success on engagements:
1 – Abc123456!
2 – password
3 – P4ssw0rd!
4 – 12345678
5 – Qwerty!
6 – A123456789!
7 – Letmein1!
8 – letmein
9 – 1234567
10 – football
11 – iloveyou
12 – admin
13 – welcome
14 – starwars
15 – 123123123
16 – January2017!
17 – Sept17!!
18 – qazwsx
19 – trustno1
20 – MyPassword1!
21 – LiverpoolFC4thewin!
22 – 1HeartYou!
23 – FuckOff!2017
24 – GoAway!1
25 – Stupid11
Check out some of our other blog articles to find out how you can set up a super secure password.
Peter has been in the Information Security world since 1999 and in IT in general since 1996. His work history contains a unique blended balance between the development of exceptional technical capabilities and business knowledge. Peter is a proud father of twins and enjoys GT endurance racing on the weekends.
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