Notorious hacker’s password was his cat’s name

Brittany A. Roston - Nov 13, 2014, 5:10am CST
Notorious hacker’s password was his cat’s name

The warning is a common one: choose a strong password. Don’t use “password” as your password. Don’t use “123456” as your password. Yet every year a report or two surfaces showing those and dozens like them are the passwords of choices for users across the globe, not to mention passwords that are easy to guess once you know something about the user. One would expect hackers to be a collective well-versed in the need to choose hard-to-guess passwords, but even hackers make mistakes.

At one point, hacktivist Jeremy Hammond was the FBI’s most-wanted cybercriminal. Hammond was arrested in 2012 following various hacking exploits and is now serving a 10-year sentence in prison. He discussed the matter in a recent profile, including what went down when the arrest took place.

When law enforcement raided his Chicago home, said Hammond, he managed to shut his encrypted laptop before police were able to get it. Still, the FBI later managed to gain access to the machine, the means by which having never been determined.

That mystery may have come to an end, however. When asked about it, according to the recent profile, Hammond revealed his password may have been to blame: “Chewy 123”, based on his cat Chewy’s name. It was an unfortunate mistake, one far too easy to make, serving as yet another reminder to be extra selective when choosing a password.

SOURCE: Ars Technica


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