Friends or Simpsons? New data shows which TV shows are most popular in breached passwords

(Last updated on September 20, 2021)

Looking to catch up with your favorite TV show as it returns this month? You might want to rethink expressing your fandom in your password, as new research from the Specops team shows which TV shows are most popular in breached password data. 

According to our new research, The Flash took the #1 TV show spot, showing up over 73,000 times on breached password lists. This should come to no surprise to those who saw the results of our DC vs Marvel password research, where The Flash also ranked highly. After that, syndication favorite Friends” took the number two spot, showing up over 64,000 times with 40-year-old TV classic “Taxi” coming in at number three at almost 59,000 times.  

  1. The Flash 
  1. Friends  
  1. Taxi  
  1. Arrow 
  1. Elite 
  1. Saturday Night Live (SNL) 
  1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer 
  1. Lucifer 
  1. Vikings 
  1. The Simpsons 
  1. Cheers  
  1. Sherlock 
  1. Supergirl 
  1. Daredevil 
  1. Star Trek 
  1. X-Files 
  1. Supernatural 
  1. Bonanza  
  1. Suits 
  1. Gotham 

To get the results, our team compared TV shows from TV Guide’s Top 50 Shows and IMDB’s Top 50 Most Watched to a list of more than 800 million breached passwords, a subset of the more than 2 billion breached passwords in Specops Breached Password Protection. Any breached password that contained the name of the TV show, with or without spaces, counted as a match to that show. For example, “I never watch Friends” would match for “Friends” in this ranking calculation. Because of this, our team removed some TV shows that matched a little too broadly (e.g. “ER” as a two-letter word matches a lot of passwords that do not relate to the TV show). 

 “Attackers know making a strong, memorable password is hard and that people tend to choose easy things we know,” said Darren James, Product Specialist at Specops Software. “This latest research shows us what we know to be true – that end users are making use of the things that come easy to them in their passwords, and that includes that old favorite show they’ve watched for years.” 

Curious if you have any of these passwords in use in your organization’s Active Directory? You can find out how many of your Active Directory users are using compromised passwords like these by running a free, read-only scan with Specops Password Auditor. Read more and download it here

With Specops Password Policy and Breached Password Protection, companies can block over 2 billion compromised passwords in Active Directory. These compromised passwords include ones used in real attacks today or are on known breached password lists, making it easy to comply with industry regulations such as NIST or NCSC. Our research team’s attack monitoring data collection systems update the service daily and ensure networks are protected from real world password attacks happening right now. The Breached Password Protection service blocks these banned passwords in Active Directory with customizable end-user messaging that helps reduce calls to the service desk. 

About Specops Software 

Specops Software is the leading provider of password management and authentication solutions. Specops protects your business data by blocking weak passwords and securing user authentication. With a complete portfolio of solutions natively integrated with Active Directory, Specops ensures sensitive data is stored on-premises and in your control. Every day thousands of organizations use Specops Software to protect business data. 

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