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Hackers reveal top passwords of Gawker Media sites

by Kelly MacNeil on December 21, 2010

While it might seem that users of Gawker Media sites like Gizmodo and Lifehacker would be cognizant of internet security, the recent work of a group of hackers proves otherwise. The hackers posted a long list of data from the organization's servers Sunday night, including more than 1 million passwords. According to The Wall Street Journal, the most common passwords are surprisingly easy to guess.

The most popular password, by a considerable margin, was "123456," and was followed closely by the equally obvious "password" and "12345678." However, there were some other interesting choices besides the easily-guessable top three as well. For instance, "monkey" squeaked in as the eighth most popular.

Additionally, some of the interests of Gawker Media users were revealed. Passwords such as "starwars," "princess" and the X-Files inspired "trustno1" were all relatively common. There was also a surprisingly large amount of seemingly unexpected top picks including "f—you," "blahblah" and "whatever."

Although the list provides some insight into users' preferences and habits, the fact that the hackers were able to uncover such a trove of passwords has some experts concerned about the serious security threats that the holes in the sites' security systems pose. The breach also caused Gawker to send out around 1.5 million emails to users telling them of the hack, and Slate posted a way to find out if one's information was leaked.

The release of passwords had a ripple effect throughout much of the online world as well. Users at websites such as Yahoo, LinkedIn and even World of Warcraft re-set their passwords, PC Magazine reports.

"As part of our ongoing security measures we issued a password reset to some users. Yahoo does this periodically to ensure the security of users," a Yahoo spokeswoman said in a statement.

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