More than 300 thousand passwords associated with Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny, among other artists, were threatened in 2022.
Passwords remain a sticking point in computer security , requiring the use of a difficult-to-crack and easy-to-remember password.
This process pushes many to use loose ideas based on tastes and preferences, but cybercrime and its ability to access accounts through ‘social engineering’, caused hundreds of thousands of accounts associated with ‘Taylor Swift’ or ‘Bad Bunny’ in 2022 ‘ are highly vulnerable.
A recent SpyCloud report exposes a high level of passwords exposed in different leaks that show how users bet on elements of popular culture to ‘strengthen’ their security. Specifically, the report highlights the recovery of 327,000 passwords associated with Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny.
According to the research firm, you have to “consider that many people are obsessed with music and celebrities, so it should not be surprising that we see the most popular artists on the list of 2022, and the ones who have dominated this collection are Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny.
Note that this not only affects accounts that use the words ‘Taylor’, ‘Swift’, ‘Bad’ or ‘Bunny’ as passwords, but also variables identified in the stream of information leaks. Among the most frequent, there are also ‘swiftie’ or ‘midnights’ – the name of her most recent album and which reported more than 230 million dollars in income last year-; while Benito inspired key words like ‘summer’ or ‘titi’. While the popular American singer inspired 186,000 leaked accounts, while the Latin artist impacted 141,000 credentials.
Other popular culture events detected in the SpyCloud report were streaming services – ‘YouTube’, ‘Netflix’ or ‘Hulu’ as keywords in 261,000 accounts -, the death of Queen Elizabeth II – 167,000 credentials with ‘queen’, ‘royal family’ or ‘queen elizabeth’ -, the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk – up to 74 thousand under ‘twitter’ or ‘elon musk’ – Ukraine, Donald Trump and other events that marked 2022.
This data was obtained among the 721 million credentials exposed in more than 1,300 breaches during the past year. The interesting thing about the case is the 72% of users who were affected by these leaks using passwords previously exposed in other breaches.
A large part of those affected, according to the report, had multi-factor authentication, or MFA, disabled, which adds a dynamic PIN or a second validation step via SMS, email, third-party app or notification to devices associated with the account.
“The widespread use of information stealers is a dangerous trend because these attacks open the door for bad actors like initial access agents, who sell malware logs containing accurate authentication data to ransomware syndicates and other criminals.” Trevor Hilligoss, director of security research at SpyCloud, told the media. “Information thieves are easy to contact, cheap and scalable, creating a thriving underground economy with an ‘anything as a service’ model to enable cybercrime. This ‘broker-dealer’ partnership is a lucrative business with a relatively low cost of entry.”