We will, we will RockYou: A list of firsts

Last December, a hacker acquired the password list for RockYou by exploiting a SQL injection vulnerability which revealed the usernames, email addresses and passwords of a whopping 32.6 million users. And worst of all (besides the company’s attempt to first cover up the incident, then downplay it), the passwords were stored in plain text! Not that hashing would have slowed an attacker down much. Most users’ passwords consisted of short, common words or were all-numeric.

I ranked the 14.3 million unique case-sensitive RockYou passwords by frequency and reviewed the top 2,000 uniques (accounting for 4.7 million users’ passwords) to identify the top passwords by category, some of which are shared below.

Eminem is more popular than Jesus as a password for RockYou users? Who knew? 7,241 uniques of “eminem” versus 5,866 for “jesus”. When case-sensitivity is ignored the same holds true. 7,594 uniques for 7 variations of “Eminem” versus 6,449 for 9 variations of “Jesus”.

Category Password Rank
Numeric sequence 123456 1
Passphrase iloveyou 5
Female name nicole 11
Male name daniel 12
Animal monkey 14
Fictional character tigger 25
Food chocolate 27
Sport soccer 29
Color purple 33
Profanity fuckyou 39
Palindrome hannah 50
Magazine playboy 59
Slang hottie 62
Entertainer eminem 75
Religious figure jesus 103
Place america 121
Non-English word sakura 114
Band blink182 165
Website name myspace 182
Non-English passphrase mahalkita 198
Month september 200
Zodiac astriological symbols gemini 211
Company name samsung 255
City barcelona 273
American city orlando 275
Country portugal 301
Auto manufacturer mercedes 353
Repeating letter sequence aaaaaa 374
Sports team steaua 400
Drink cocacola 471
Sports team (American) lakers 480
Musical instrument guitar 550
Celebrity (female) shakira 569
Drugs maryjane 597
Contains special character iloveyou! 984
First letter capitalized only Password 1856
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