World's most hacked passwords revealed — avoid these words like the plague

If you are a Liverpool fan called Ashley you ought to know that every hacker worth his salt could have you for breakfast.

Online criminals are adept at spotting those most likely to have passwords that are easy to crack.

And research by Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre has found an alarming number of people use their own names.

Other popular passwords ­include football teams, bands and fictional characters.

The most caught-out names include Ashley with 432,276 ­victims, Michael with 425,291 and Daniel with 368,227.

Liverpool topped the league for open-goal football ­passwords, with 280,723 supporters cracked.

Punk band Blink 182 hit a bum note for 285,706 fans. Fictional characters are sitting ducks too. Superman failed to save the day for 333,139 web users.

But those numbers are dwarfed by 3.6 million ­showing a welcome mat to thieves by ­using “password” and 3.8 million opting for “qwerty”.

The softest targets of all for criminals are people who use common ­number sequences. At least 23.2 million victims have used 123456 – the world’s most-hacked computer log-in.

A further 7.7 million were stung using 123456789 and 3.1 million with 1111111.

The National Cyber Security Centre has revealed its lists in a bid to expose flawed security after discovering codes sold and shared by hackers. The centre, launched in October 2016, ­provides a dedicated body for ­the nation’s cyber-security.

Technical Director Dr Ian Levy said: “Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided.

“Nobody should protect ­sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band.

“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words.

“Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington added: “Given the growing global threat of cyber-attacks, these findings underline the importance of using strong passwords at home and at work.

“The NCSC hopes to reduce the risk of further breaches by building awareness of how ­attackers use easy-to-guess passwords, or those obtained from breaches and protect users.”

And Digital and Creative Industries Minister Margot James said: “We shouldn’t make criminals’ lives easy. Choosing a strong and separate password for your email is a great step.”

The world’s most hacked sign-ins

1. 123456

2. 123456789

3. qwerty

4. password

5. 1111111

6. 12345678

7. abc123

8. 1234567

9. password1

10. 12345

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