Feeds

Passwords are for AES-holes

Security is an illusion

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Something for the Weekend, Sir? When did you reach burnout? For me, it was spring 2009. Looking back, I did well to last as long as I did but the constant pressure of coming up with something new, again and again, became too much.

I'm not confessing to an emotional crisis, by the way. I'm talking about my ability to create new system logins that I can remember for longer than an afternoon. Today, about a third of my incoming emails have 'password reset' in the subject line.

Reginald Perrin. Source: BBC/2 Entertain

'Oh god, not another bloody password to remember. One more and I'll fake my own death just to avoid the buggers'
Source: BBC/2 Entertain

My password fatigue came to a crunch while I was freelancing at a company that bullied its users into entering a unique login every time you wanted to do anything whatsoever on one of their computers. First up was a straightforward Active Directory login, which is fair enough, but this barely carried you beyond the company's intranet page.

Want to visit an external website? Another login. Check email? Another login - yes, even with AD. Run the core apps? Another login. Open the image library? Another login. Access the database? Another login. Browse the archive? Another login. Launch the production tool? By now, you know the answer.

If I was working remotely, I had to use yet another login to seek permission to enter any of the above logins, and it was particularly irritating because it insisted on asking me to enter this one twice. Those of you who know me: it's not the company you think it is, so keep guessing.

Reginald Perrin. Source: BBC/2 Entertain

'I didn't get where I am today by not forcing my staff to log in 13 times to to start work'
Source: BBC/2 Entertain

Most of the company employees got around the problem by creating identical ID names and passwords for everything. The IT department responded to this challenge by forcing users to change their passwords every month. The ever-resourceful users quickly discovered that the automatic prompt was fixed to a 12-month cycle, so all they had to do when prompted to change their passwords was to spend a minute changing it 12 times and then choose their original password again.

Now I understand why computer security is important. I also understand why I should not use the same ID and password for all my bank accounts and credit cards. What I don't understand is why I would need 13 different logins at the same company simply to identify who I am.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.