passcode frequency
iOS developer Daniel Amitay today took an interesting look (via The Next Web) at iPhone passcode trends as revealed by usage of his popular Big Brother Camera Security application.

In my last update to Big Brother Camera Security (Free), I added some code to record common user passcodes (completely anonymous, of course). Because Big Brother's passcode setup screen and lock screen are nearly identical to those of the actual iPhone passcode lock, I figured that the collected information would closely correlate with actual iPhone passcodes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular passcode for the app was "1234", a choice made by about 4.3% of users. Other popular codes include ones with repeating numbers (such as "0000" and "1111") and patterns on the keypad (such as "2580" and "1212"). All told, Amitay discovered that 15% of the over 200,000 passcodes captured by his app were represented by just ten different passcodes.

The implication? A thief (or just a prankster) could safely try 10 different passcodes on your iPhone without initiating the data wipe. With a 15% success rate, about 1 in 7 iPhones would easily unlock--even more if the intruder knows the users' years of birth, relationship status, etc.

Beyond the passcodes representing repetitive and patterned entries, Amitay found a higher-than-expected frequency of passcodes in the 1980-2000 range, suggesting that users are prone to using their birth years or years of other significant events in their lives as their passcodes.

Top Rated Comments

Doctor Q Avatar
146 months ago
I use a pseudo-random number generator to pick my passcodes and I change it once every 15 minutes, just to be super-secure. That's how I can be confident that nobody will see my top-secret data, such as the note saying "bring bread and milk on the way home".

Of course that means that once in a while my passcode is 1234 or 0000! :eek:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThE.MeSsEnGeR Avatar
146 months ago
..... there are only 9999 possible lockscreen combinations .....
actually it's 10,000 possible combinations ;)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil A. Avatar
146 months ago
Interesting as this is, I feel that collecting passcodes and sending them back to the developer (anonymised or not) is well out of order and may breach several Apple guidelines on data capture and use, not to mention data protection laws
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Phil A. Avatar
146 months ago
4263=hand


:p

:D :D
You owe me a keyboard to replace the one I've just spurted coffee all over! ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jive turkey Avatar
146 months ago
Ok, I can't help but failing to see how "relationship status" would be of any help in discovering a user's pass-code...:confused:

4263=hand


:p
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacFan1701 Avatar
146 months ago
1234? That's the kind of thing an idiot has on his luggage!!!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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