Codebreaker

Super-difficult passwords – as easy as riding a bike

Marc Sanchez Jul 23, 2012

We’re about to celebrate a big anniversary here at Marketplace Tech Report: our hundred bazillionth warning about using better passwords. Seems like we’re warning people once a week, at least, to not use consecutive numbers or birthdays or the word “password” as their password, and sometimes all we can do is give a giant sigh for humanity. Some neuroscientists and cryptologists at Stanford have decided to take pity on our heavy hearts as they have come up with a way for you to remember a 30-character password. The best part: there’s no thinking involved.
The website that you might find seated next to you at a monster truck show, Extreme Tech, explains:

The system, devised by Hristo Bojinov of Stanford University and friends from Northwestern and SRI, relies on implicit learning, a process by which you absorb new information — but you’re completely unaware that you’ve actually learnt anything; a bit like learning to ride a bike. In short, the system teaches the password to a part of your brain that you cannot physically access — but it is still there in your subconscious, just waiting to be tapped.


There’s a bit of a learning curve, which requires about 45 minutes of testing, but the good news is that test is made up of playing a game. And that game, well, it sort of looks like Guitar Hero, and as you tap out letters “S-D-F-J-K-L” in random sequences to match those on the screen, your subconscious brain is taking on the task of remembering the 30-character password.
Now go make like Yngwie Malmsteen, make some guitar face, and shred up a new password already.

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