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This Popular Password Helps Hackers Earn 1,425 Percent ROI

And hackers are banking big bucks on the likelihood of you having it

Jun 09, 2015 at 10:37 AM ET

The most common online password around the world is Password1—and such naivety is helping hackers reap a whopping 1,425 percent return on their investment in the burgeoning business of cybercrime, a new study says.

The new report by Trustwave Cybercriminals found that cybercriminals take advantage of our stupidity. Half of all attacks in 2014 on point-of-sale systems to steal credit card information were possible because of weak passwords like password1.

“You would think it would be blacklisted,” said Charles Henderson, vice president of managed security testing at Trustwave. “Not the case.”

Cybercrime is not only easy, it’s extremely lucrative. It makes the attacker 1,425 percent of what she spends on ransomware equipment, according to the report. In a study of black market cybercrime across 15 countries in 2014, Trustwave found that the cost of ransomware per month isn’t nearly the amount of potential money earned, which can be tens of thousands of dollars a month.

As an example, a hacker can pay $5,900 per month for the malware equipment needed for a 30-day campaign to attack numerous systems. If just 10 percent of the attempted hacks are successful, the return could be as much as $90,000. That’s a profit of $84,100 in a month, or 1,425 percent.

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