TechTarget

Office staff willingly disclose passwords

A majority of London office workers are prepared to reveal their computer passwords to a complete stranger in return for a small...

A majority of London office workers are prepared to reveal their computer passwords to a complete stranger in return for a small chocolate Easter egg.

Researchers at Liverpool Street Station managed to discover the passwords of 70% of commuters who agreed to take part in a survey on computer security. Interviewees were rewarded with a chocolate treat.

Nearly 40% gave their passwords away immediately and another 34% spilled the beans when asked questions like, "I bet it is to do with your child's name or your pet."

The survey by Infosecurity Europe revealed that most passwords would be easily guessable by hackers. The most common was "admin" followed by the names of wives and children, football teams and pets.

The lax security practices followed by many of the interviewees will cause concern for all but the most lackadaisical chief security officers.

One man said that all the staff in his company used the same password so they could remind each other if anyone forgot it.

Another interviewee said the password was written on a board where all the staff could see it.

Despite their willingness to reveal passwords to researchers, more than 50% said they would be reluctant to disclose their passwords to IT staff, as this could cause a security breach.

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