spudtater: (Default)
( Sep. 2nd, 2010 01:23 pm)
I got an email from [personal profile] galaxy_girl today asking about generating passwords for a whole load of individual documents. This set me thinking.

It's easy to generate random passwords in large quantities. But these generally aren't memorable — how easy is it going to be for an average user to remember something like "uJ5we0B"? There's techniques for generating memorable passwords, but these are generally quite long-winded; not really suitable for generating passwords in quantities.

I'm thinking more simple, mass-produced, low-security passwords along the lines of those which AOL used to send out on the back of their trial CDs. They would use paired dictionary words, all in uppercase, like BERRY-BRING, BRAIN-MUNCH or ICHOR-HAPPY.

AOL's approach got me wondering: what actually makes these memorable? Is it that they're real words, or is it that they're pronounceable? I put together a quick script to see what a bunch of pronounceable, but nonsensical, words would look like. The result looks like a mixture of Lewis Caroll and J.K. Rowling — with a scattering of medical-sounding nonsense thrown in for good measure:
hopivels     cholatids    nobuderm     claronilts   pomunits
chizitacks   mulemicks    ponawack     blupivads    gafirons
kupiperts    slunijords   blogamecks   pravozim     glufapurts
betaweld     cremutins    pluzarungs   prosinacks   valopings
pukinilds    flofutalls   losiwelt     dritulorms   boripungs
grojesicks   glewabocks   trebizurt    namiruss     blavokerms
tabamungs    thetipurds   crividum     vokulash     slutifoss
kurumulls    grifuvids    bligeling

This tickled my fancy enough to translate it into JavaScript, and put it up on my webpage. I'm still not sure if these are any good as passwords, but it's an amusing toy.
.

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