It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you most people are lax about password security...until its been compromised. Actually, it does take a (former) rocket scientist: Nick Berry formerly of Microsoft and current data privacy advocate crunched the numbers and discovered the sobering fact almost 11% of 4-digit PIN numbers rely upon "1234". He also discovered the least common 4-digit code, alongside some other unusual top #20 choices...
The next most popular 4-digit PIN [after "1234"] in use is 1111 with over 6% of passwords being this.
In third place is "0000", with almost 2%.
A table of the top 20 found passwords in shown at the right. A staggering 26.83% of all passwords could be guessed by attempting these 20 combinations!
(Statistically, with 10,000 possible combination, if passwords were uniformly randomly distributed, we would expect the these twenty passwords to account for just 0.2% of the total, not the 26.83% encountered)
Looking more closely at the top few records, all the usual suspects are present 1111 2222 3333 ... 9999 as well as 1212 and (snigger) 6969 .
It's not a surprise to see patterns like 1122 and 1313 occurring high up in the list, nor 4321 or 1010 .
2001 makes an appearance at #19. 1984 follows not far behind in position #26, and James Bond fans may be interested to know 0007 is found between the two of them in position #23 (another variant 0070 follows not much further behind at #28).
And the least common 4-digit PIN? "8068", with only 25 occurrences in 3.4 million in Berry's dataset study. He does note it wouldn't be prudent to change your PIN to "8068" now the sequence has been publicly outed.
Other fascinating tidbits from Berry's very detailed (and equally entertaining) study:
Check out the Nick Berry's complete PIN Analysis post over at the DataGenetics blog.
(Image: Gregory Han)