The extremely poor quality of the passwords that Ashley Madison users picked to secure their hookup website accounts makes it clear that they never saw a hack or anything like it ever coming their way. Otherwise, you’d think they would have tried a little bit harder than “123456” or “password”.
The scandal following the Ashley Madison data leak, that exposed millions of the website’s users to the World Wide Web along with all of the intimate preferences that they decided to share on their profiles, seems like a endless source of reasons to point fingers and make moralizing remarks about people who decided to sign up to a hot and heavy hookup website.
The quality of the passwords alone should be considered as some sort of proof that most members did not take their Ashley Madison account all that seriously, as opposed to how everything is being interpreted in the vastly complicated aftermath of the exposure.
On the other hand, people have never actually taken the time to devise strong passwords for their accounts, regardless of the seriousness of the platform. Whether it’s an online banking account, or a Facebook page, most people seem to always type in passwords such as “secret” or “12345678”, for that extra protection.
This happens mostly because they choose passwords that they want to remember, rather than passwords that might keep them safe, at least from the low end passwords detectors.
Security company Avast decided to look into the complexity of the passwords that people chose for the Ashley Madison website and to their surprise, they found only about 25,400 unique hashes in the one million passwords that they looked at. And out of these, it seems that only a little bit over 1,000 were actual unique passwords.
Avast explained that by unique passwords, they simply meant one that other users had not chosen as well. It’s safe to say that the unique ones were no brilliant unhackable ones either, but at least they were not in the top ten most used passwords on the site.
And just to point out the amount of time that people put into their security for their Ashley Madison account, the most used password among the first million users was “123456”, followed by a true brainteaser, “password”. Then followed the slick versions of the top password, meaning “12345” and “12345678”, which were clearly something that nobody would have thought to put in.
Other honorable mentions include “qwerty”, the letter version of 12345, which came in at no. 5, “dragon”, that came in at no.8 and crowd pleaser “helpme”, that got no. 12.
Clearly, there is no dull moment when it comes to new information about the Ashley Madison scandal. For now, the breakups, divorces and even suicides seem to be going on and on, but they are at least expected to have reached their peak rate.
And everybody from marriage counselors (the first result you get when typing in Ashley Madison on Google Search is actually a marriage counselor ad), to lie detector test providers and all the way to lawyers and even people who specialize in extortion are absolutely thriving at this point.
It remains to be seen what will happen next on the Ashley Madison series of scandals, but hold on tight, because it is definitely going to be a bumpy ride as the lawsuits start rolling in.
Image Source: wsj