was the most common compromised password found in KrakenLab’s new list of breached cloud application credentials
analyzed breached passwords were over 16 characters in length – showing longer passwords aren’t safe from being breached
of organizations scan for compromised passwords more than once a month
About the data
Data in this report comes from the sources detailed below – some has been previously published throughout the year while some is brand new. We’ll make it clear which pieces of information come from which source as you read through:
- The Outpost24 (Specops Software’s parent company) threat intelligence team, KrakenLabs, carried out two pieces of research detailed in this report:
- Analyzed more than two million business application credentials hacked by malware to find some of the most commonly breached passwords. Published for this first time in this report
- Analyzed 1.8 million administrator credentials collected between January and September 2023
- Specops surveyed 151 cybersecurity professionals at the 2023 International Cyber Expo event. Participants were asked a set of in-person questions about their organization’s password security – these responses are detailed in this report for the first time. All respondents and their respective organizations remained anonymous
- Over the past year, Specops researchers have run several pieces of analysis on a pool of over 800 million breached passwords. This is a subset of our larger Breached Password Protection database of over 4 billion breached passwords
Senior Product Manager, Specops Software
2024: Year of the secure password?
After decades of end user training, passwords are still a problem for IT teams and a weak point in many organization’s cybersecurity strategies. A huge amount of cybercrime still focuses on passwords: stealing credentials, selling them on, and using them as an initial access point for breaching organizations. Verizon estimates stolen credentials are involved in nearly half (44.7%) of all data breaches, and we know there’s a thriving underground marketplace for stolen data and credentials.
Despite this, passwords aren’t going anywhere. We surveyed 151 cybersecurity professionals at the 2023 International Cyber Expo event and found that only 12% of organizations have moved away from using passwords as their primary method of authentication. Getting rid of passwords entirely is simply not feasible for most organizations – so how can we make them work better?
Throughout 2023, our research team regularly analyzed breached password data and live attacks to share their findings and showcase the importance of password security and potential vulnerabilities posed by weak or compromised passwords. This report brings the highlights of that research together along with some previously unpublished findings. The aim is to give organizations a deeper understanding of the patterns and trends relating to breached passwords, as well as sharing advice on how to tighten up their access security.
We’ll explore how weak and compromised passwords offer potential attack routes into organizations, why a strong password policy isn’t enough on its own, and explore some of the password mistakes you might not know your end users are making. You’ll also get access to a free Active Directory auditing tool and practical advice from our years of password security expertise that can be implemented straight away.
Make 2024 the year of the secure password!
Are weak passwords hiding in your AD?
Run a free audit today to start your journey towards better password security. Specops Password Auditor is a free tool that can identify multiple types of password-related vulnerability in minutes. Carry out a read-only check of your Active Directory against almost 1 billion compromised passwords and analyze your domain password policies and fine-grained password policies.
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