So there was this data breach recently, against a website called Ashley Madison. Perhaps you've heard of it.
That bit of hackery exposed thousands of people-not only as would-be cheaters, but also as people with truly terrible passwords.
For example: According to a detailed accounting published by Ars Technica, the word "ashley" has been used at least 8,793 times by Ashley Madison users.
Maybe the site just has a lot of Full House fans. (After all, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen did make for a cute little sitcom baby.)
Or maybe Ashley Madison customers literally punched in the first word they saw when it came time to choose a password.
The password 111111 has been used more than 7,048 times by Ashley Madison folks. Maybe the subscribers chose it on purpose, or maybe they all have cats who like to sit on the "1" key. Happens to us all the time.
As if "password" weren't obvsies enough, the word "cheater" has been used as a password by Ashley Madison users nearly 4,000 times.
More than 4,425 times, Ashley Madison users have chosen "hello" as their passwords. It's nice to know they're polite.
Everybody loves Superman, including Ashley Madison folk, who have used the Man of Steel's name as a password at least 5,023 times.
We have no idea why the password "monkey" has been used more than 2,000 times by Ashley Madison users. And something tells us that we're better off not knowing.
At least 31,000 times, Ashley Madison users turned to taboo words for their passwords, including p***y, f**kme, f**kyou and a**hole. A**hole alone has been used at least 5,052 times.
"Hunter" has been used for password purposes at least 3,869 times.
Password. Really. The word "password." It was used-as a password-by Ashley Madison subscribers at least 39,448 times.
Ashley Madison subscribers used "football" more than 7,800 times. Something tells us they're really, really into fantasy leagues.
"Soccer" has been used as an Ashley Madison password 3,936 times, at least.
If Ashley Madison subscribers are any indication, baseball may be the preferred sport of extramarital cheaters: the word has been used 7,710 times.
The word "madison" has been used by Ashley Madison users 5,219 times and counting.
The reason, of course, is simple: Ashley Madison people are really big fans of our Founding Fathers, such as James Madison here.
If you're one of those people who tends to stare at a keyboard until inspiration comes, you are not alone. Go ahead. Look down at your keyboard right now. More than 20,000 times, the top left string of letters inspired Ashley Madison users: QWERTY was their password.
Apparently, more than a few Ashley Madison subscribers are just not down with the whole password concept. They impatiently chose "letmein" as a password at least 4,140 times.
Perhaps fearing that "football" would be too easy to guess, Ashley Madison users have turned to "hockey" as a password at least 4,191 times.
Maybe they thought that a sneaky word would keep them from getting caught by suspicious spouses; "shadow" has been used by Ashley Madison subscribers at least 3,831 times.
Perhaps they were all following the news of the Greek financial crisis. Or perhaps they just didn't feel like thinking up a real password.
Whatever the reason, Ashley Madison users have relied on the world "default" as a password no fewer than 34,275 times.
Possibly inspired by midlife crisis muscle cars, Ashley Madison subscribers have chosen "mustang" as a password at least 4,865 times.
Network security people keep on saying it, and the rest of the world just keeps on doing it anyway: Using strings of sequential numbers as a password.
The top two most-used password combinations by Ashley-Madison users? The infinitely easy-to-hack 123456 and 12345. Combined, those number strings have been used a whopping 168,963 times...and counting.