I don’t feel like I am in a place to condemn or criticize the 36 million people outed in the massive Ashley Madison hack in August; after all, I don’t know anything about their lives or their marriages, and the hack represents a huge violation of privacy. That said, the most commonly used Ashley Madison passwords have been revealed, and, although I won’t judge these people for whatever may be happening in their personal lives, I will judge them for their terrible, terrible taste in passwords. Because, seriously, these are BAD.
The list of the site’s top passwords include all of the awful passwords we’ve been told that we shouldn’t, under any circumstances, choose ever: The top password is the classic “123456,” followed by “password,” because of course. This isn’t the first example of people using stupid passwords to protect internet accounts, but it sort of blows my mind that anyone would use “123456” as a password to protect his (and, yes, the users are almost all men) account for a website dedicated to cheating on one’s spouse. Again, I don’t know the details of all these users’ lives, but I think we can safely assume that most of them didn’t want their affiliation with the Ashley Madison to get out. And yet they chose to protect themselves with passwords like … “password.” OH COME ON.
To be fair, these results come with certain caveats. The data was complied by security firm Avast. The passwords of Ashley Madison’s users are encrypted, and figuring out all 36 million of them would take a very, very long time (Avast says there’s no way to do it before the “heat death of the universe”). However, Avast has been able to crack the first million password hashes of the leak (a hash is the encrypted version of a password), using lists of the most commonly used passwords found in other hacks. Avast reports, “Of the 25,393 hashes cracked, there were only 1,064 unique passwords.” (To learn more about the specifics of how Avast cracked the encryptions, check out the firm’s blog.) So, to repeat, these results are from the first million passwords; we obviously don’t know what the other 35 million might reveal.
So without further ado, here are the top twenty Ashley Madison account passwords. The first five are simply lazy, and the others get a bit more interesting, if only because of their randomness. Passwords like "secret" and "blowjob" are no surprise given the nature of the site, but apparently dragons and Camaros are a big thing among Ashley Madison users? The sad “helpme” just seems like a call for an intervention.
I have only this to say: