An Overview of the Usage of Default Passwords

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Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime, ISSN: 1867-8211, Vol: 216, Page: 195-203

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Knierem, Brandon; Zhang, Xiaolu; Levine, Philip; Breitinger, Frank; Baggili, Ibrahim
Springer Nature
Computer Science; Default passwords; applications; usage; security; Computer Engineering; Computer Sciences; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Forensic Science and Technology; Information Security
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book chapter description
The recent Mirai botnet attack demonstrated the danger of using default passwords and showed it is still a major problem. In this study we investigated several common applications and their password policies. Specifically, we analyzed if these applications: (1) have default passwords or (2) allow the user to set a weak password (i.e., they do not properly enforce a password policy). Our study shows that default passwords are still a significant problem: 61% of applications inspected initially used a default or blank password. When changing the password, 58% allowed a blank password, 35% allowed a weak password of 1 character.