Friday, July 31, 2009

How Good is Your Passward?

At work we have pretty rigid rules about passwards in our computer systems:

Our passwords must be 27 characters long and contain:
- at least 2 capitols (state capitols, not countries),
- two special olympics contestants middle names,
- 7 numbers (3 odd numbers and 4 even numbers, none of the numbers can be a multiple of 3)

In addition we have to change this password every 4 days and the system keeps a log of old passwords. So you cannot reuse any part of a old password until your 32nd password change.

OK, so I'm exaggerating just a little bit. But not by much. There is one system I have to log into at work that requires a password change every 6 months. Since I only log into this system about 3 times a year I pretty much am required to change my password every time I log in.

All in all the password as a method of security on computers is getting ridiculus. I even have to change passwords every six months on a machine that is locked in a vault and has no connection to any other computer.

And if I thought work was bad, you should try keeping up with passwords if you do any e-mailing or online commenting or shopping from home. The largest book in our house is the one we use to write down all our online shopping passwords.

Now I know many of you (OK, all two of you) will say "Hey dorkface!, just pick one password and use it for everything, and make it clever so no one will guess it."

Well the folks at Whats My Pass? have been doing a little password homework. They have compiled a list of the top 500 common passwords that people like to use.

That list is here! (But don't click on that link if you are easily offended by seeing profanity. Apparently a lot of people are willing to type things into their computers that they would never say out loud in public. But then again I've been to our local high school and listened to the way they talk.

There are some interesting passwords on this list that show how people try to be clever, but even human cleverness is predictable. For example, look at these passwords that I found interesting:

ncc1701 The ship number for the Starship Enterprise
thx1138 The name of George Lucas’s first movie, a 1971 remake of an earlier student project
qazwsx Follows a simple pattern when typed on a typical keyboard
666666 Six sixes
7777777 Seven sevens
ou812 The title of a 1988 Van Halen album
8675309 The number mentioned in the 1982 Tommy Tutone song. The song supposedly caused an epidemic of people dialing 867- 5309 and asking for “Jenny”

“…Approximately one out of every nine people uses at least one password on the list shown in Table 9.1! And one out of every 50 people uses one of the top 20 worst passwords..”

I am pleased to say that I have not used any of the passwords on that list at home or at work. Well except one. Back when I did computer and network support I used number 96 as a default password if I had to reset someone's email password or their account password. But in my defense, that was back in the day when keyboards only had 4 numbers and 13 letters on them. We have come a long way since then.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Not A Clue

It has been a while since I last posted. The club volleyball season is over and I am just starting to get back to a normal life for a month or two. But more on that later.

Our state legislature has officially lost it's mind, gone bonkers, jumped the shark, total lost all focus, pick your euphemism of choice. These people, if they ever knew in the first place, have completely forgotten why they were elected to office in the first place.

Our state is 26 billion dollars in debt. We are spending way more money than we are taking in. Our budget was due last week, the governator is preparing to issue IOUs for state spending because we have no money. So what is our legislature working on?

They have three bills that:

1)create a commission to serve the marketing interests of the blueberry industry.
2)defines "honey" to mean the natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honey bees,
3)adopts regulations establishing definitions and standards for 100-percent pomegranate juice.


Why are these morons still employed? Why are they still allowed into their offices? Why are they not at home in their bathrooms trying to figure out how to get tar and feathers out of their hair?

Ignore the fact that the state doesn't need these stupid laws in the first place. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DAMNED BUDGET YOU IDIOTS??????

He's how to solve this problem. Call the legislature into order, lock all the doors and windows, turn off the air conditioner. Give them a port-a-potty and nothing but chili to eat until they all agree on how to cut 26 billion in spending out of our state budget.

You will notice that there is no provision in that plan for raising taxes, fees, etc. Cut the damned spending! Stop threatening to cut all the stuff that people actually want like parks, police, schools, etc. Cut the waste, cut the liberal bullshit, cut the spending on illegals, get rid of all the spending on climate control garbage, etc.

Until they do, they do not leave that room!

Then once the balance the budget send them home to get real jobs. Tell them they can reconvene for one week every other month. The rest of the time they are on their own. Make them go get real jobs to support themselves.