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Master Hacker's Downfall: Password Was Cat's Name

Jeremy Hammond didn't put up much of a wall
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2014 2:19 PM CST

(Newser) – Jeremy Hammond is a guy so notorious for hacking anything and everything that he's currently cooling his heels in federal lockup for 10 years over his penchant for opening cyber doors. So it's more than a little surprising when, in the course of an interview at Manchester Federal Prison, he tells the AP he's pretty sure he knows how the feds nabbed him: "My password was really weak," says Hammond. Specifically, it was his cat's name. "Chewy," he says—and the AP notes here that he's "looking down at his hands." "Chewy 123."

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Over at Ars Technica, Dan Goodin notes that, assuming that agents did even cursory due diligence on Hammond, Chewy 123 would have been "among the earlier candidates any experienced cracker would try." Hammond is in good company: The US government also uses some pretty terrible passwords. (Read more Jeremy Hammond stories.)

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