About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

The Core Pa$S^^ord!

By Dan Hadaway | Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - Leave a Comment

We’re supposed to use “unique passwords.”  This means that we can’t use the same password for everything.  We should use one for windows, a different one to log into the core, a different one for e-mail, a different one for the imaging program, etc.

We’re also supposed to use “strong passwords” (and yet not write them down.)  A strong password conforms to six factors:

  1. Upper case letters
  2. Lower case letters
  3. Numbers
  4. Special Characters
  5. At least 8 characters long
  6. No dictionary words

We’re not allowed to write passwords down.

I know, this seems nuts.  But the password is our front-line of defense.  And there really is a simple way to remember your passwords while keeping them strong and unique.

The best way to use unique, strong passwords without writing them down is to use what we call “the core password” approach.  This approach uses the same password, but a different password, for every account you have.

For example: let’s use the following as our core:

Manifesto –> [email protected]_st0

Then you use descriptors before or after the password to help you remember what it’s for. Such as:

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

Of course, because of technical difficulties, it doesn’t always look like the above list. Some applications do not allow the six factors. So we really end up with something that looks more like this:

•     [email protected]_st0

•     Upperlower1 (for your core processor)

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     [email protected]_st0

•     1834 (for your voicemail)

Yes, that voicemail code stands for Payton Manning, Walter Payton.  This could be a problematic voicemail pin if everybody knows that you follow Payton Manning and Walter Payton.  It would be better to use numbers that are not predictable, and stay away from using easily guessed pins like your birthday.

The descriptor scheme could be flipped for non-business passwords, but the “core password” should be different as well. It could be based on the first letters of a sentence, such as, “I use a different core password at home.” Something like: [email protected]

Then we have:

•     [email protected] _home

•     [email protected] _online

•     [email protected] _hotmail

•     [email protected] _yahoo

•     [email protected] _quicken

•     [email protected] _my

•     [email protected] _fb

•     [email protected] _youtube

•     22334

“What about amazon and itunes and such?” you may be wondering.  Unless you are a regular shopper, simply approach the issue knowing you intend to use the “forgot-your-password-feature” right under the yellow button on the sign-in page.

The core password is difficult to explain, but very easy to understand once you catch on.  It is a great way to use unique but strong passwords.

Let me know if I can help you come up with a few of your own core passwords until you catch on!

Click here for more information about User Awareness Training.

Infotex Team

Intended Use:

The purpose of Vigilize is to respond to ISO’s complaints that users never read ISO’s “ongoing security awareness training reminders.”  Our tweets are designed to be copied into the subject line of your awareness reminder, with the language on these pages put into the body.  The goal is that the user will have to read the subject line to know to delete the message, and if they understand the subject line the reminder is communicated.  If not, they will go into the message and read the reminder.

Feel free to use Vigilize in your own Security Awareness Program.  Let us know if you have any ideas, suggested tweets, or ways to improve this FREE service.

Latest News
    A follow-up on Dan’s 2008 Password Manifesto On the NIST Publication on Digital Identity Guidelines Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . In June 2017, NIST released a special publication on digital identity, NIST SP 800-63, that is starting to get the attention […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    Over Seven Billion Usernames Have Been Leaked in Breaches Since 2011… An article review. An unfortunate fact of modern life seems to be the inevitable announcement of new data breaches, and if you’ve lost track of how many breaches you’ve had to perform a risk assessment on you’re probably not alone…but just how much personal […]
    Or, the risk of email hypnosis . . . And the other implications of complacency! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . Now that the pandemic is coming to an end, most of us are returning to our daily commutes.  Are you finding […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office.  
    Machine learning is here to stay, so how do we assess its risk? An article review. When it comes to assessing technology risk, there seems to be as many methods as there are attack vectors… but what happens when an entirely new field opens up?  When it comes to machine learning (ML) there aren’t many […]
    You’ve heard it from every MSSP you’ve met: the definition of a SIEM is in the eye of the beholder. But at infotex, we are not talking about the database – an asset whose definition is continuously evolving. We’re talking about the way three teams collaborate in an overall Technology Risk Monitoring process. And whether […]
    A new study shows organizations are responding to cyber attacks faster than ever, so why is that bad news? An article review. When it comes to cyber attacks, the sooner an organization can begin to respond to an attack the better, so the results of a new study showing a drop in the amount of […]
    …a Crash Course of Security Measures The first article by Sara Fultz, Creative Assistant of infotex! Introduction: As the managing partner of infotex, I am proud to introduce the “debut article” for Sara Fultz.  I told Sara “write an article showing us what you’ve learned that the technical staff will appreciate.” As I read her […]
    infotex Programming Coordinator, Michael Hartke, introduces a high level overview of the upcoming update to the infotex SIEM. Look for more movies in the coming months informing our Clients, and those just now learning about us, about the SIEM and its features and functions.