The Internet’s Most Awkward Venn Diagram

11 Jun

LinkedIn, Hacks, and Fanfic

Venn Diagram

The big social media news of the week is that 6.5 million LinkedIn passwords got stolen.  A hacker broken into a LinkedIn server, stole the account information and published the passwords online, without accompanying usernames.  Supposedly, the goal wasn’t to compromise anyone’s account specifically, but to prove that he could do it.  At which point, he probably stuck his tongue out at the computer and said, “Na Na Boo Boo.”  Clearly, this was a very mature hacker.

Mashable has been reporting on the hack and is linking to a LastPass tool that will allow you to see if your password is on the list.  Basically, you type in your password, without typing in your username, and LastPass tells you if that password is anywhere on the list of 6.5 million passwords.  Since usernames aren’t associated with the passwords on the list, LastPass can’t tell you if your individual password was compromised, but it can tell you if the account of someone with that password was comprised.  Essentially, if your password is on the list, you should change it.  (Okay, it’s probably a good idea for everyone to change their passwords, regardless of if they appear on the list.)

Passwords by like pants by Richard Palmer

Photo credit to Richard Palmer

LastPass’s tool is meant for you to check to see if your password was on the list, but it’s also a way to check what other people use as their passwords.  So, go ahead, type something in and see if it’s one of 6.5 million people’s LinkedIn passwords.  But, don’t complain if you go down a rabbit hole of typing in random, ridiculous things and lose hours of you life.  I’m warning you right now that it’s addicting.

So, let’s start with the basics, the things that everyone knows not to use as their passwords:

password            Yep, it’s on the list

password1          Yes, that, too

password2          Uh huh

password3          Yep

password4          Still there… this is getting ridiculous

password20        Also on the list

Okay, so clearly the rule that you shouldn’t use “password” as your password hasn’t made it to everyone yet.  How about not using strings of characters?

abc123                  Yes, it’s a password

abcdef                  Not on the list!  We have a winner!

123456                  On the list.  (That winning didn’t turn into much of a streak.)

asdfjkl;                 Yep, it’s there.

So, apparently the rule about not use character strings still needs to go viral.

At this point, I’m bored with guessing really bad passwords and want to see the most dorky passwords I can find.  And yes, being able to find the dorky passwords implies that I’m dorky enough to attempt to do so.

StarTrek               Yes

StarWars              That, too

HarryPotter        Of course it is!

EdwardCullen    Yes… this makes me sad.

Photo credit to imaletyoufinish

I’m going to just give up and declare EdwardCullen the saddest LinkedIn password ever.  Because really, it’s a professional networking site, not a fanfic writing community.  And, since this post is dragging me down rabbit holes, I need to report that there are people that list the fanfic’s that they’ve written in their LinkedIn profiles. (Yes, this implies that I did just go search LinkedIn for “fanfic.”)

I really don’t know who to feel about that…  My initial reaction is just a big old ball of snark, but I guess if I’d written something like The Draco Trilogy that thousands of people had read, I’d consider it a pretty big professional accomplishment, too.  To be fair, I do list this blog on my LinkedIn; and maybe that’s not too far off from someone posting about her fanfic writing accomplishments.

And, that’s where we’re going to wrap this post.  Before I stumble into any weirder corners of the internet than I already have.

Questions of the day: Are you on LinkedIn?  Did you password get hacked?  If you’re on LinkedIn, how much of your personal hobbies do you share on there?  Would you admit to being a fanfic author?  Are you a fanfic author?  (Please say yes!)


Formerly MaggieCakes, Maggie (not Margaret) covers technology’s impact on culture, specifically on how we interact or connect with each other. Have a question or an idea you’d like me to write about? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail: moc.teragramtoneiggam@eiggam

4 Responses to “The Internet’s Most Awkward Venn Diagram”

  1. Matthew June 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Hacking into a server to steal something just to prove it can be done…sounds like the villain of the last Die Hard movie. :)

    That aside, although I keep my Facebook account geared towards professionalism (I.E. no crazy pictures and I keep my educational/career information public) I post a lot more career information on LinkedIn. I don’t post any hobbies on LinkedIn unless it “sounds professional” like say my hobbies of blogging or web design, and not my hobbies of tennis and Rock Band. Let companies use Facebook to get to know me personally, and LinkedIn to know me professionally, I say.

    On that note are also several people on LinkedIn that I would not add as a Facebook friend. Then again I’m not one of those people who needs to have 1000+ “friends.”

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