Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

s1ct2a5d – hard to crack, easy to remember

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-05-15

This post is a service to those of you who have problems remembering passwords that are complex enough to create some difficulties for crackers, and satisfy the password strength criteria of websites like banks.

Indeed, with a bit of luck you can remind your other half of the password over the phone when others in the office are listening.

The mnemonic for the password in the blog title, "s1ct2a5d" is "shall I compare thee to a summer’s day".

That’s a phrase that is easy to remember, and here is how you do the morph (brownie points to you if you figure it out before going over the fold):

  • Shall I Compare Thee 2 A Summer's Day.
  • sict2asd
  • s1ct2asd
  • s1ct2a5d

It’s a combination of:

  • Taking the first letter of each word in a phrase
  • Making substitutions common to SMS-lish (e.g. "to" becomes "2")
  • Changing letters to numbers that bear some similarity in either upper or lower case: "o" to zero, "i" or "l" to "1", "s" to "5", "g" to "9", etc
  • Choosing which letters not to substitute (if anything, that’s the hardest to remember).

So folks, any guesses about where the following passwords come from?  I’ve made them quite long so you can have a better chance.

  • "mN10LuMwym+d"
  • "Lmm50atehcaw" (replaced, when the password ages, with "aCa5a5dbh")
  • "z02tff5sent"

Anybody care to record their guesses as to the origin of these passwords?

Notes/See Also:

  • It’s Friday, so "The Age" cryptic x-word fans frustrated by "Don’t Attempt" initially, can get some exercise from this instead.
  • Back in the early 80s, it was usually possible given a list of users of a machine, to crack 90% of them by using common girl’s names, and maybe adding on a digit.

One Response to “s1ct2a5d – hard to crack, easy to remember”

  1. Dave Bath said

    my Name 1s 0zymandias Look upon My works ye mighty + despair

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