One Of 2016's Top 20 Passwords Was '18atcskd2w'

By Holly Brockwell on at

We anticipate the roundups of most common passwords each passing year with a mixture of schadenfreude and despair, as once again scores of people are revealed to be using "123456," "qwerty" and "password." But 2016's list had a few surprises up its sleeve, including the 15th most common password of the year: 18atcskd2w.

Research by password manager Keeper reveals all the usual suspects in the top 25 (*waves to google*), but more than a few of last year's choices were not quite what we've come to expect. At #12 is "mynoob" which, while far from secure, is a slightly odd choice - followed by 18atcskd2w (15th), 1q2w3e4r (17th) and 3rjs1la7qe (20th).

So why have secure but obscure passwords suddenly become popular? Basically, robots. Keeper quotes security blogger Graham Cluley's explanation that they're passwords used by spambots, which create legions of fake accounts on forums and in comment sections so they can sell us fake waist-thinners and boner-enhancers. It's somewhat surprising to find that these accounts are using standardised passwords - surely anyone who can create a network of spambots can create a password randomiser - but on the bright side, at least it shows that enforced secure passwords do sort-of work. After all, even the spambots are complying with the rules.

Here's the full list of top passwords of 2016:

At least 'open sesame' has finally retired. Sigh. [Keeper via Betanews]

Main photo: Unsplash