Do you have the dumbest PIN in ATM history?

Having '1234' as your ID number is akin to just handing your money to a thief, according to a new study.

By Jason Notte Aug 6, 2013 7:04AM
Image: bank ATM (© Image Source/Corbis/Corbis)Want quick access to your cash? Just put a fat stack of it on your front stoop and place a rock atop it to prevent it from blowing away.

According to research company Data Genetics, that's about as effective and secure as making "1234" your personal identification number (PIN) for the Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFM), Citibank (C) and other accounts you use for ATM transactions.


Data Genetics analyzed 3.4 million passwords culled from "released/exposed/discovered password tables and security breaches" and discovered that the Sesame Street PIN in question was the nation's most popular and least secure.


The top 10 also featured several numbers employed by Americans who presumably foil burglaries by leaving their keys in the front door and combat identity theft by posting their Social Security number on a sign on their front lawn. Because, you know, criminals are dumb and reverse psychology is foolproof:

    2. 1111

    3. 0000

    4. 1212

    5. 7777

    6. 1004

    7. 2000

    8. 4444

    9. 2222

    10. 6969

Let's take a quick moment to applaud the folks using No. 10. We'll presume they still chuckle uncontrollably at this bit of junior high cleverness and have shared this pin with at least one of their fellow members of the university Greek system just for the comedic value.

Then again, that's practically Enigma code by modern standards. The study found that the 10 most common passwords accounted for more than 20% of all of passwords found. And 26.83% of all passwords could be guessed by someone trying the top 20 most popular combinations. Keep in mind, this is the national brain trust that helped make "password," "123456," and "12345678" the top three online passwords last year, according to SplashData.


Don't just blame the kids for this either. Apparently a whole lot of American adults love using a PIN beginning with 19, putting just about every adult birth year into the bad code category.


So what does the thinking American use as a PIN these days? Mostly nonsense. The top two most secure ID numbers -- guaranteed to be far less secure by this time next year -- were "8068" and "8093."


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153Comments
Aug 6, 2013 1:01PM
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6969 should be 9696. The cost of eating out has gone up. Senior high cleverness.
Aug 6, 2013 1:29PM
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So the combination is... one, two, three, four? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
Aug 6, 2013 1:30PM
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if your password is 'password' or 1234, you deserve to get everything stolen.
Aug 6, 2013 1:54PM
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Years ago, I had a password that cracked everyone up. It was "My Secret"

 

I had my son go check my email one day, and he asked me what the password was. He got frustrated when I told him for the third time It's "My Secret".

Aug 6, 2013 3:49PM
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My last job required me to have 14 different passwords (or pins) for 14 different systems.  They ranged from simple 4-digit codes to some that had to be 8-10 combination number/letter codes.  They all had to be changed every 50-70 days and could never be repeated.  When we asked Corporate why we couldn't just have one code per user for every system, their reply was "security reasons".  The high-tech bastion that required this much security ?  A grocery store.

Aug 6, 2013 2:28PM
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Maybe we should use 5 numbers for PINs instead of 4. 
Aug 6, 2013 2:30PM
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6969, LOL.  I was auditing a French 101 class in college. When the instructor went over the vocabulary word, "venir", which means "to come", half the freshmen giggled.  When she got to the word, "descendre", "to go down", the whole class erupted. She was not amused.
Aug 6, 2013 2:13PM
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Go around 1397, then change every two weeks. Next make a diamond, 2684, and change every two weeks, Make such patterns and drive yourself crazy and no one can guess your PIN, including yourself! 
Aug 6, 2013 1:21PM
Aug 6, 2013 2:20PM
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I was going to try goddog.....But I figured I would always screw it up, putting it in backwards or something...
Aug 6, 2013 5:22PM
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If you asked me to write down my PIN, I couldn't do it in 30 seconds.  I memorized the PATTERN on the keypad, but I've long since forgotten the actual numbers.  Don't know if that makes it more secure or makes me one of the idiots......
Aug 6, 2013 2:45PM
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The people that are using 6969, should just reduce it to 88, because you get ate twice.
Aug 6, 2013 2:33PM
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Is it any surprise with the NSA, and social security posting social security numbers on line that our pins and passwords are not safe or secure.
Aug 6, 2013 1:27PM
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I knew the top 3 in order before the story loaded on my screen. 
Aug 6, 2013 2:08PM
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This explains a whole lot about the current sad state of affairs in this country.
Aug 6, 2013 3:40PM
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It doesn't matter what your PIN is.... if a thief wants to get it, they can. Consumer protection laws are clear about theft.
Aug 6, 2013 7:21PM
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Dumbest pin for a Web Developer 8080
Aug 6, 2013 3:22PM
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6969    They have sex on the brain.
Aug 6, 2013 3:13PM
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: So the combination is... one, two, three, four, five? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!


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