PRODUCTIVITY: Secret questions are not foolproof … but you can make them!

Network World’s Identity Management Newsletter, 12/11/06
Secret questions are not foolproof
By Dave Kearns

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The problem, as many have pointed out, is that this so-called secret information is readily discoverable by anyone who wants to dig a bit. As security maven Bruce Schneier said in “The Curse of the Secret Question” : “I’ll bet the name of my family’s first pet is in some database somewhere.” Bruce’s suggestion? “My usual technique is to type a completely random answer – I madly slap at my keyboard for a few seconds – and then forget about it. This ensures that some attacker can’t bypass my password and try to guess the answer to my secret question, but is pretty unpleasant if I forget my password.” Well that actually defeats the one good purpose of the secret password as well as blocking the bad uses – an example of tossing out the baby with the bathwater. I’ve got a better suggestion.

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May I suggest our old friend ROBOFORM’s random string generator?

Yup, for each site that needs my Mom’s maiden name, they can have a unique one. F53FA849645C26 for Yahoo, EFA897CABA45D4 for Google, and DAD999B5244BA2 for AOL.

And, if they want my favorite pet’s name, it’s in turn C9AF, 7B2B, or 222459.

See spammers can go ahead and guess all they want!

And, my first car was a BAD753!

TECHNOLOGY: John McCain doesn’t like the blogs; this blog doesn’t like him either!

John McCain’s War On Blogs

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John McCain has made clear that he doesn’t like the blogosphere.

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Just to be clear, this blogger doesn’t like John McCain.

As a POW, he took parole and broke faith with his fellow POWs. As a member of the Keating Five, he demonstrated his “honesty” credentials. As part of the McCain – Feingold team, he demonstrated his thoughts on the First Amendment.

The people of Arizona should be embarrassed to have him as their senator.

Time to repeal the direct election of senators anyway. The dead old white guys had it right!

RANT: Parents should NOT lie … about anything!

This time of year brings out my favorite gripe, rant, and kvetch. Parents should never EVER lie to their children. Not once! The tooth fairy, easter bunny, or Santa Claus don’t have to be lied about.

If’n I was a parent, and the Intelligent Designer had the good sense not to give a child to such a weirdo, I would not lie. Anytime, for any reason, under any circumstances.

Child: Is there a Santa Claus?

Parent: Well, I would never lie to you. I don’t know for sure. I’ve never seen him, but an awful lot people seem to think so. There are a lot of unexplained unseen things like the wind, electricity, and time. So what do you believe?

Never lie!

How can they trust you on the important stuff, if they can not trust you on the trivial stuff?

RANT: Hey Governor Corzine … … still wanna hear about state cars? … (continued) …

You don’t? TOO BAD!

This morning 14 December at 0645 est on Route 1 by the Stop’n’Shop  … …

… … a white state police suv  SPA145A … …

… … raced by the standing traffic at the light on the right hand lane … …

… … No red/blue lights. It didn’t look like it was even equipped with them. What kinda of SP was this?

… … (I admire that the person timed the light perfectly. Anyone running the light, right turning on red, or late in the opposite direction would have been killed! But it was timed perfectly.) … …

… … down route 1 at a between zero and what seemed to be over a hundred (Your serf speed limit is 55)

… … of course the statist road system, with myriad lights to slow the serfs down, allowed us a better look at the state car when we caught up.

… … All that serf traffic just meant that it was tailgating the poor peon in his way all the way down.

… … It did observe the unwritten rule of the powerful “never leave the left lane”!

… … (Do you teach them to do that, or is that a qualification for working for the state of nujerzee!?)

… … And once freed of the serf, when last we saw it, it was flying down route 1, hurrying to get to I assume trenton to protect and serve me.


[For those not familiar with the NJ roads. State “workers” proceed straight down route 1 to the golden dome of corruption. If you come later in the morning, then it’s not unusual to see “lots” of state cards commuting to the state jobs by the state ’employees”. It particularly ticks me off to know that I am paying for the road, the traffic jam, and the bad driving of my “servants”. Arghhh! That’s one reason I like to commute early; I can’t afford to have a stroke because I couldn’t afford the death taxes.]


P.S.: Dear reader, I don’t write these every day. Just when I ARRIVE early for work, particularly agitated aggravated and have to wait for my employer workstation to get online.