An Overview of the Usage of Default Passwords

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Knieriem, B., Zhang, X., Levine, P., Breitinger, F., & Baggili, I. (2018). An Overview of the Usage of Default Passwords. Paper presented at the International Conference on Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime (ICDF2C).

Publication type

Paper in Conference Proceedings


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.


Organizational Units

  • Institute of Information Systems
  • Hilti Chair for Data and Application Security