F-Secure’s Password Prank

Grumpy old dataholic that I am, I’ve never seen a lot of point in April Fool’s Day, though perhaps there’s an interesting sub-text or two in Google’s pranks this year:

  • Does Google Nose imply that Google is trying harder to sniff out smelly Android malware? Well, I’m not holding my breath.
  • The Blue Gmail hoax has an interesting resemblance to a common school of Facebook scam: is this a slyattempt to revive interest in G+ by increasing its resemblance to the big F?

And would it make a lot of difference to my life if YouTube really was closing down? (And does Twttr’s abolishing of vowels mean that the company is modelling its security on Trend Micro’s fabled filtering?

Given what I do, though, I can’t resist F-Secure’s attempt to make a very serious point about bad passwords by way of a very silly story: Hacker Group Changes Millions of Passwords to “password”; Only 38% of Users Notice. I’m not sure how effective irony and sarcasm are as tools for user education, but it amused me, anyway. Hat tip to Gadi Evron for bringing it to my attention

David Harley


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