In less than 1 minute, hackers can guess 45% of passwords: Are your passwords at risk?

June 21, 2024  22:10

Despite the abundance of information about what secure and difficult-to-crack passwords should be, many people continue to use rather primitive ones that take only a few seconds to crack. Kaspersky Lab experts analyzed 193 million passwords found publicly available on the darknet and found that 45% of them, or 87 million passwords, could be guessed by attackers in less than a minute.

Key findings

  • Most passwords can be easily guessed using smart algorithms. To select 14% of passwords it will take no more than an hour, and for 8% it will take no more than a day.
  • 23% of passwords turned out to be strong enough that it would take attackers more than a year to crack them.
  • 57% of passwords contain an existing dictionary word, which significantly reduces their resistance to cracking.
  • Commonly used words for passwords include “forever,” “hacker,” “admin,” and “password.” Common combinations are “qwerty12345” and “12345”.
  • Today's algorithms take into account the replacement of characters, for example, “e” to “3”, “1” to “!” or "a" to "@", and know popular combinations such as "qwerty" or "12345".

Hacking methods

Attackers can easily rent computing power in cloud services to guess passwords, which does not require deep knowledge or expensive equipment. Special programs are often used - information stealers, which over the past five years have compromised logins and passwords for logging into 443,000 sites around the world. In the .ru zone, 2.5 million pairs of logins and passwords were stolen in this way.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Yulia Novikova, head of the Kaspersky Digital Footprint Intelligence service at Kaspersky Lab, believes that the use of password managers remains an effective method for protecting credentials. These applications allow you to generate the most hack-resistant, completely random combinations, moreover, they provide secure storage of passwords.

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