Feeds

Passwords are for AES-holes

Security is an illusion

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
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
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...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
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
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.