TECHNOLOGY: Passwords and secondary questions

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As I write this, people are accessing the personal Apple MobileMe account of Hollywood actress Salma Hayek, after its login details were posted earlier today on Anonymous imageboard Hacking into a famous celebrity’s e-mail account might sound like it would take an awful lot of work and experience and knowledge in hacking, but as it turns out, the evil deed could be carried out with just a few keystrokes. The Anonymous poster who started it all left the following bits of information for all to see and use to access Salma Hayek’s MobileMe e-mail account.

   Her email address is

   Go to, forgot password, type

   Her birthday is Sept. 2

   Answer to change password question is: frida

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My non-critical passwords are 16 random alphanumeric characters. I have pages of them developed with ROBOFORM’s “PASSWORD GENERATE” function. My critical ones are long mnemonics of my favorite sayings.

AND, I treat secondary questions as exactly what they are — backdoors.

SO if you see my Grandmother C9HJLPQVK say hi. Say hi to my little dog KEZNBF6N9. And, I will be at my first school — VRT9ZWDX6.

If you know these “answers”, then you own my account at the New York Times. The free one. That they make you set up to read the slanted stories of the day.

Bottom line, security is for everyone. And, it’s easy.

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