Feeds

Use the holy word of God to stay secure online, says bishop

What he opens no one can shut, what he shuts no one can open

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A bishop in Blighty has suggested that passages from the Bible can be used to create memorable but hard to crack passwords.

The Right Reverend James Langstaff urged his congregation to stop using pets' name or stock phrases for login credentials in favour of passwords derived from passages in the New Testament.

"The Bible offers a life-long source of new passwords, that can include both upper and lower case letters and numbers to help create memorable, secure passwords," the Bishop of Rochester explained, adding that holy passwords would help believers to recall passages from the Good Book.

The bishop suggests users derive their passwords by selecting their favourite passages, taking the first letter from each word in the quote, and appending the chapter and verse from which it is derived.

For instance: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" from Luke chapter 23 verse 46 would create the password FiyhIcmsL23V46.

Such a password would be far harder to randomly guess than most used today but perhaps not impossible. Passwords derived from Jules' monologue in Pulp Fiction, for example, might be popular.

"If someone knew that you were an active Christian, they might twig that you'll have chosen one of the more famous Bible quotes as the basis of your password," argues Graham Cluley, a security consultant at Sophos. "You can also imagine that if the bishop's password advice became popular, hackers would simply create a database of Bible quotes which they would use to break into your account."

Even better security could be achieved by using a made-up phrase to derive a password, Cluley suggests.

In either case users should still use different passwords on different websites to guard against the possibility that a breach against one site won't open up more sensitive accounts to attack. ®

Bootnote

The word "password" itself does not appear in the Bible, according to a not-exactly-conclusive search, which is perhaps just as well. Like most subjects the whole concept of secrecy can be either championed or lambasted by selective quotations from the bible.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.