123456 continues to be one of the most popular and hackable passwords online

Despite years of experts trying to convince people to create passwords that are difficult to guess, it seems like many people still haven’t got the message.

One out of every 142 passwords out there is 123456, according to new research from Ata Hakçıl, a computer engineering student who has analysed username and password combinations that leaked online after data breaches at various companies.

He looked at over one billion credentials from so-called data dumps from previous breaches that are easily available on places like GitHub. He found that over seven million of the passwords were 123456.
He also found that contrary to experts advice that passwords should be between 16 and 24 characters, the average length of the passwords in the data dump is 9.48 characters.

He also found that 29% of users only used letters and 13% only used numbers, meaning that a these passwords were also very easy to hack.

The news comes at a time when the management of passwords if becoming big businesses. Indeed, recent research has shown that the password management market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19% between 2020 and 2025, from $1.05bn to $2.98bn.

Although, some are convinced that old school passwords are a thing of the passed. For instance, RegTech Analyst reported in April about the new startup Beyond Identity had launched and raised $30m in a new Series A round. What makes that round pertinent to this conversation is that the New York-based company is set up to put an end to poor password management by delivering a secure solution for passwordless identity management.

Moreover, 57% of UK consumers would be happy to replace passwords and pins with biometric verification, according to a recent study from Equifax.

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