Hacker attacks reported to happen every 39 seconds

Posted by Mark Raby

College Park (MD) - A new study by the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland reveals that cyber hackers now strike once every 39 seconds and that "1234" is the top guess as a password, which hacker scripts use to gain access to someone's files.

The most common username that hackers look for is "root". Not surprisingly, these most common guesses are the default for most users, leaving amateurs who don't know how to change their information as the most vulnerable.

Other common guesses for usernames included admin, test, guest, adm, administrator, user, mysql, oracle, and info. Other passwords that were easily compromised included 1, 123, 12345, 123456, password, passwd, and test. Clearly, online users should refrain from using any of the above as usernames or password for any application.

"Most of these attacks employ automated scripts that indiscriminately seek out thousands of computers at a time, looking for vulnerabilities. The computers in our study were attacked, on average, 2,244 times a day," said enginnering professor Michel Cukier, who conducted the study.

Cukier said that the most popular reason for hackers to gain access to a remote computer is to plant botnets to track when the owner enters information like bank account and credit card numbers, for identity theft.