When it comes to offering wisdom before conducting an action, one may want to think about the impact of what they’re about to say. The former National Institute of Standards and Technology, Bill Burr also known as the father of the modern password, has realized his error in his advice giving recently. In 2003, he advised all government departments make their passwords a random string of letters and symbols so that no one else would be able to guess it.
However, it turns out that Burr’s advice seems to have backfired on him as these kinds of passwords are easier to crack rather than words that you would actually be able to remember. However, people seem to have been using words they remember in combination with random symbols in order to create complicated passwords. Burr had this to say in regards to his misguided advice, “It’s probably better to do fairly long passwords that are phrases or something like that that you can remember than to try to get people to do lots of funny characters, think I could have done a better job of figuring out some of the things that we now know, or at least of guessing them.”
Burr regrets the advice he gave the government and is happy that they did not completely follow it, but now that he thinks about it, he believes that random isn’t as random as he thought and that hackers have become much more advanced with their hacking skills since 2003 and cracking random passwords won’t be as hard a Burr would have thought. Burr states that he also urges others to do the same and instead of having a random assortment of symbols and letters as their passwords thinking that it will be harder for someone to guess, he urges others to take this advice one more time and change their passwords to something that only they will remember such as a specific word, phrase, or name. This also makes it easier for the user to remember the password rather than having to keep it written down somewhere, or have to remember the odd assortment of letters, numbers, and symbols that made it up. Even the father of the modern password gave bad advice on something he created but he has learned from that and hopes that people will continue using passwords in order to keep their information safe and out of the hands of hackers, so long as they are able to remember said password.
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