Roy Keane with retired guide dog Rory. Photo: John Allen

Cork passwords cracked!

Grace Sweeney

He’s a very famous Corkman but he’s not a good choice for a password! Roy Keane is one of the best players to ever play football but using his name as a password is not advised according to experts.

New data has shown that the names of sports clubs, celebrities, and TV shows are the most commonly used passwords in Ireland, many of which can be easily guessed by cybercriminals.

Among the most common passwords used by people in Cork are ‘corkcity’, ‘corkcityfc’ and ‘carrigaline’, with ‘tanora’ and ‘barrystea’ also making the list.

Nationally the most used passwords are ‘123456’ which has been used 36 million times, ‘qwerty’, used 10 million times and ‘password’, used 9 million times.

One of the most popular sportspersons used is ‘roykeane’ which has been hacked 2,962 times.

Experts in cybersecurity Cyber Skills found the data using the HaveIBeenPwned website, which reveals how many times a password has been cracked by hackers and cybercriminals. Irish people are being urged to re-think their password choices in order to avoid being caught out by these hackers.

Dr Hazel Murray from Cyber Skills commented: “What many consider a 'strong' password, referencing cultural touchpoints, is in fact easily deciphered by cybercriminals. There's a common misconception that if a password contains personal information or interests that it will be strong. Good passwords are multiple words strung together and avoid easily recognisable phrases.”

Richard Browne at the National Cyber Security Centre advised: “Use strong long diverse passwords, the longer the password the more difficult it is to break. If you go to ten characters or more, it gets very very difficult to break it.”

Speaking about the findings, Dr Hazel added: “‘Glenroe’ finished over 20 years ago on TV, yet it’s been used nearly 90 times in the hacked password database.”

With October being Cyber Security Month, it served as a timely reminder of the importance of safeguarding our digital presence.

The annual campaign is about raising awareness on the importance of cybersecurity.

Through a series of events, workshops, and online resources, the campaign aims to empower individuals and businesses to take control of their digital lives and protect themselves against cyber threats.