Passwords have always been a challenge

Passwords have always been a challenge

We have all been faced with the challenge of producing our own memorable password generating algorithm, then struggle to remember which password is for which device or service.

Classic efforts uncovered over the years extend from 8 Asterisks (********) to variations on the word Password (Pa55word).

Even the problem of passwords won the funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011.

Nick Helm: “I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”

The story of the police force in Delhi, the Central Vigilance Commission, who are responsible for investigating complaints of corruption. They failed to address complaints that had been logged onto their system because they did not know the password to the portal. They had not accessed the system in over eight years and when it was finally accessed it was found to contain over 600 outstanding complaints.

A spokesman put the matter down to a “technical problem” (an excuse that covers a multitude of sins) and that two officers had now been trained on the system and were addressing the backlog of complaints.

It would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall in that training session. Switch on, enter your user name, enter the password. Congratulations, you have passed and here is your certificate!

It is questionable how true this story is and whether the “technical problem” was really resolved with user training. However, it is a bit of fun. Perhaps the password did turn out in the end to be ********.

Read the full April – Bridewell of knowledge

Other articles:
Where shall I stick it?
Are you Immune?
The estimated size of the digital economy
InfoSec 2014 – 29th April – 1st May (Earls Court)

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