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The worrying password vulnerability in IT administrators

Significant cyber security risks: the immense danger of weak passwords in the IT industry

The article reveals that many IT administrators use weak passwords, such as "admin", across more than 40,000 administrative portals. The increase in the use of default and easy-to-guess passwords is highlighted. Researchers highlight the need to protect passwords and prevent malware infection to ensure the safety of corporate data.

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An analysis of more than 1.8 million administrative portals revealed that IT leaders, with the highest privileges, are as lazy about choosing passwords as everyone else.

40,000 administrative portals use "admin" as their password

After analyzing more than 1.8 million pages identified as administrative portals, researchers made a shocking discovery: As many as 40,000 of them use "admin" as a password, making it the most popular credential used by IT administrators.

Increased use of default passwords

The research was conducted on 2,023 passwords between January and September by a team at Outpost24, who also found an increase in the use of default passwords.

The 10 most common passwords detected

The 10 most common passwords found by the analysis included default, easy-to-guess options:

  1. admin
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6
  3. 12345678
  4. 1 2 3 4
  5. Password
  6. 123
  7. 1 2 3 4 5
  8. admin123
  9. 123456789
  10. adminisp

“Although our top 20 discoveries are limited to known and predictable passwords, the fact that they are associated with administrative portals also tells us that bad actors are well equipped to target privileged users”, explained the Outpost24 team.

The researchers highlighted the ongoing efforts of “traffers”, organized groups of cybercriminals who use malware to target administrators and steal their credentials.

“To protect passwords and therefore company data, there are two key points to consider,” the report added. “The first is about securing passwords through standard best practices, while the second is avoiding malware infection”.

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10/18/2023 20:53

Marco Verro

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