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  • 21 January 2010 17:40

Imperva releases detailed analysis of 32 million breached consumer passwords

SYDNEY, 22 January, 2010—Imperva, the leader in data security, announced today the release of study analysing 32 million passwords recently exposed in the breach. It highlights consumer susceptibility to cyber attack.

Imperva’s Application Defense Center (ADC) assessed the strength of the passwords before issuing a report, ‘Consumer Password Worst Practices’, which helps consumers and website administrators to identify the most commonly used passwords and cautions people to avoid these when using social networking or e-commerce sites.

The report can be downloaded at: (registration not required).

The most commonly used passwords identified are: 1. 123456 2. 12345 3. 123456789 4. Password 5. iloveyou 6. princess 7. rockyou 8. 1234567 9. 12345678 10. abc123

“Everyone needs to understand what the combination of poor passwords means in today’s world of automated cyber attacks. With only minimal effort, a hacker can gain access to one new account every second—or 1,000 accounts every 17 minutes,” said Imperva’s CTO Amichai Shulman.

“The data provides a unique glimpse into the way that users select passwords and an opportunity to evaluate the true strength of passwords as a security mechanism. Never before has there been such a high volume of real-world passwords to examine.”

Key findings of the study include: • The shortness and simplicity of passwords means many users select credentials that will make them susceptible to basic forms of cyber attacks known as “brute force attacks.” • Nearly 50 per cent of users used names, slang words, dictionary words or trivial passwords (consecutive digits, adjacent keyboard keys, and so on). The most common password is ‘123456’. • Recommendations for users and administrators for choosing strong passwords.

For enterprises, password insecurity can have serious consequences. “Employees using the same passwords on Facebook that they use in the workplace bring the possibility of compromising enterprise systems with insecure passwords, especially if they are using easy to crack passwords like ‘123456’,” said Shulman.

“The problem has changed very little over the past 20 years”, he added, referring to a 1990 Unix study that showed a password selection pattern similar to what consumers select today. “It’s time for everyone to take password security seriously - it’s an important first step in data security.”

Imperva will host a webinar detailing the study’s findings. To register, please sign up here:

About Imperva Imperva, the Data Security leader, enables a complete security lifecycle for business databases and the applications that use them. Over 4,500 of the world’s leading enterprises, government organisations, and managed service providers rely on Imperva to prevent sensitive data theft, protect against data breaches, secure applications, and ensure data confidentiality. The award-winning Imperva SecureSphere is the only solution that delivers full activity monitoring from the database to the accountable application user and is recognised for its overall ease of management and deployment. For more information, visit

Media queries Grenadine Lau Imperva Phone: +65.6749 4482 Mobile: +65.9666 1886 Email:

David Frost PR Deadlines Pty Ltd, for Imperva Phone: +61.2.4341 5021 Mobile: +61 (0) 408 408 210 Email:

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