Most Unusual Password

What is the most unusual password you have ever seen?

Andy Kerr


I silently lamented her lack of security until I actually got to her office. The only sticky note I saw was a verse, written out in her neat handwriting:

He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

People wrote bible verses all the time on sticky notes at that college. It was common sight, just little spiritual reminders. At that point, though, I didn’t need inspiration, I needed a password.

No other notes. I checked the floor and the desk behind the monitor.

I sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do next. Then I looked at the note again, and noticed that it didn’t have the scripture reference with it. I pulled a Bible off her shelf, flipped through a few pages, and found what I was looking for.

I brought up the login screen, and after a few tries, typed in:


Password accepted!

I had to laugh: she’d followed IT guidelines for passwords (at least 8 characters; a mix of capitals, lowercase, numbers, and at least one non-alphanumeric character). And even though she’d left herself a reminder in plain sight (a big no-no) only someone who had grown up in a Christian culture would get it—and most of those who had would just think it was a verse she found inspiring.

Researchers Figure Out How To Put Invisible Backdoor In Common Internet Encryption

Read the full article at

“Encryption is, basically, a giant math problem: a set of numbers and a set of rules for what to do with them. Researchers have discovered a way to basically tunnel through or end-run around the process by putting in a number that makes the rules — usually hidden — visible. And when you know the rules the math problem is working with, you can break through it.

An encrypted communication that has this “trapdoor” in it is about 10,000 times easier to solve than one without, Ars explains. That puts access to files encrypted this way within reach for anyone with access to a big enough bank of processing power… like, say, the NSA.”

October 12, 2016 Meeting

John Buck

John will lead a discussion on computer privacy based on the recent articles published in the November 2016 issue of Consumer Reports. Members are encouraged to review the articles before the meeting.

  1. Protecting Your Digital Privacy is not as Hard as You Might Think.
  2. The Consumer Reports 10 Minute Digital Privacy Tuneup
  3. 66 Ways to Protect Your Privacy Right Now


John Buck is a retired tech writer. He has been editor of the SPAUG newsletter and edited his church newsletter for eleven years. He is a frequent contributor to this website.

October is the month for nominations for SPAUG  officers. The current slate of officers has volunteered to continue but other nominations are welcome. Elections will be held at the November meeting.

The meeting will be held at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, 4249 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. NOTE: We will be meeting in the Library/Card Room across the hall from the Lodge Room. All members and guests are invited to attend an optional NO-host dinner prior to our general meeting. Dinner will be at 5:45 PM at The Bistro located on the ground floor of the Elks Lodge.