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Researchers' Perfect Password Is Easy to Remember and Infinitely Secure

Researchers' Perfect Password Is Easy to Remember and Infinitely Secure
(XKCD.com)

By    |   Friday, 23 October 2015 10:15 PM

Two California researchers are offering the high-tech world a glimpse of hope — they figured out how to create a perfect password that can be easily remembered.

Marjan Ghazvininejad and Kevin Knight said in a newly published paper that most people are challenged by creating passwords that are secure, but easily memorized. A 60-bit string of randomly generated numbers would be secure, but few people would be able to remember it, for instance.

The two University of Southern California researchers said they came up with the idea to use a random poem after seeing a comic strip, XKCD, on the subject. Comic creator Randall Munroe's strip was about creating a 44-bit password by using four random but common words: correct horse battery staple.

The idea intrigued the researchers, who turned it from random words into the idea of a random poem, The Washington Post said. The two developed an online-generator for the poem, which stresses that it's for "demonstration purposes only."

A quick hit on the generator comes up with the poem: "Assuming musical clichés avoidance airplanes emigres."

While the poems offered as examples in The Post may seem odd — "A peanut never classified expected branches citywide" — Knight and Ghazvininejad estimated it could take a computer 5 million years to crack.

Five million years. That ought to secure a bank account.

The key to the phrase being a poem, rather than randomly generated words as in the XKCD strip, is the rhythm that helps people remember it, The Post wrote.

The men started by assigning every word in the dictionary a code.

"They then use a computer program to generate a very long random number, break that number up into pieces, and then translate those pieces into two short phrases," The Post explained. "The computer program they use ensures that the two lines end in words that rhyme, and that the whole phrase is in iambic tetrameter."

According to Lifehacker.com, many people use common passwords, an issue that showed up during a breach of Adobe. The most common that turned up were: 123456, 123456789, password, admin, 12345678, and qwerty.

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Two California researchers are offering the high-tech world a glimpse of hope — they figured out how to create a perfect password that can be easily remembered.
researchers, perfect, password, poem
351
2015-15-23
Friday, 23 October 2015 10:15 PM
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