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`Random` password `ji32k7au4a83` used in 141 data breaches

Source: , 12/03/2019

The data breaches were catalogued by website Have I been Pwned, but the number due to the apparently random password was spotted by Gizmodo, which asked the obvious question: why were so many people using the same jumble of letters and numbers as a password? Taking up this mystery, a hardware and software engineer from Berkeley called Robert Ou, challenged his Twitter followers to find the answer. `Fun thing I learned today regarding secure passwords: the password `ji32k7au4a83` looks like it`d be decently secure, right? But if you check e.g HIBP, it`s been seen over a hundred times. Challenge: explain why and how this happened and how this password might be guessed,` he tweeted. The tweet proved quite popular as many took up the challenge and it wasn`t long before an answer was found. Taiwanese internet users decoded the answer, noting that on a Taiwanese keyboard with the Zhuyin Fuhao layout, the random assortment of numbers and letters spells out `的密碼, or `w` de mìmǎ,` which in Mandarin, translates to `my password`. On a Zhuyin Fuhao layout, typing the letter J and I will add to two add two of the symbols (ㄨ + ㄛ), which are displayed in the top right of the keys, but pronounced as u and o. From there the tone of the character has to be typed out, hence the 3. Simply put, Ji3 translates to `me` in English, but it`s switched to `my` after you add `2k7,` the next three characters in the password. There is a slightly different system used by mainland China, which suggests that people using `ji32k7au4a83` are mainly from Taiwan and while that password has shown up in 141 data breaches, `au4a83` (password) has shown up 1,495 times. `Password` came second in SplashData`s 2018 annual poll of the worst passwords, with `123456` coming out on top. Despite living in a world of biometric security, the traditional password hasn`t been completely ditched and worse, terribly simple ones are still widely used no matter the language.


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