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Showing posts from January, 2012

How to calculate Password Strength (Part II)...

Previously, on Cubic:  The main character introduced a broad analysis of a new algorithm for calculating the entropy of passwords so that a threshold may be applied and weak passwords rejected.  Will our hero's new algorithm pass more rigorous testing or will his arch nemesis Statistics Boy defeat it?  Let's find out!

Since my last publication, I've been busy doing some other things.  But this week I got back to working with this algorithm to see how good it actually is.  My primary goals with my tests were to figure out how well it performs against real-world data and to determine a baseline entropy threshold for the algorithm that rejects most bad passwords.  And what better real-world data is there than to use databases of passwords that were stolen from hacked websites?

I ended up testing against two types of information.  The first type were hacking dictionaries.  These are specially formulated files designed to defeat commonly selected weak passwords.  The latter typ…

The Ultimate Chair (Partial Resolution)

A while back, I wrote a series of posts of creating a chair that would allow me to sit outside and soak up some rays.  Programmers are white and nerdy because they sit inside.  There are several benefits you can get from going outside:

Fresh airThe sounds of natureSunlight Knowing what time of day it isNot looking like a pasty-white programmer/office worker Anyway, this post was an itch I've been meaning to scratch for a while to provide some closure and someone finally commented on it, so here goes...

I used the chair for a few months.  (Feel free to take that sentence out of context.)  And it sort of worked.  It got me outside but I had several problems that I could never resolve to my satisfaction:

1)  The chair itself wasn't comfortable to sit in for an extended period of time.  I hate anything that provides so-called "back support".  As an intelligent alien lifeform on Earth (that's a joke, BTW), back "support" is more like back "torture" t…