Automatic password suggestions are naturally something of a crapshoot, but do we detect a foul-mouthed ghost in the machine at Pipex? We were sent this appallingly obscene screengrab by a shaken reader. A screenshot from Pipex suggesting the password "Cunted2" My eyes! We're really far too shocked to add anything much, but …
what was their initial suggestion??
Did anyone else notice that the second suggestion was HeShe??? WTF?
Much more memorable
It's much more memorable than the other two suggestions!
Doubtless someone will now get the fun task of writing an obscenity filter for this app.
Back in the 80s I wrote an SSO system for our 'green screens' , which involved a computer-generated five letter password. I was concerned that someone might be allocated an objectionable password, and though I couldn't think of anything too bad that had five letters, I ensured that no password could end in UP, ME or IT. The system went live, 2000 users were given new passwords and, sure enough, someone complained because theirs was PENIS ...
Happens on Countdown too
I've seen the letters to make a word for a part of a woman's body turn up on Countdown (though never in a row). This is the thing that most puts me off applying to be a contestant on the show ..... because there are certain words which, if it's possible to make them from the letters on the board, stick in my brain and nothing I do can make me see a longer word!
I was most disappointed too that when Ricky Tomlinson was the special guest, at no point did the letters M,Y,A,R,S and E show up together. Since every letters round consists, according to the strict rules, of at least four consonants and at least three vowels, it wouldn't be too hard for someone to pre-arrange the letters .....
you wouldnt forget it in a hurry :-)
I would be more concerned by the 8 heshe's.
History making an AR5E of itself
Just as the web has spawned a renaissance in the centralised, server based application AKA The Mainframe, so too has it brought the same old gotchyas.
Back in the 80s I worked on a suite of Mainframe fulfilment batch programs that processed orders and stock control for A Very Large computer manufacturer. We got a stroppy letter from customer informing us that the semi-random, though unique, invoice code read "AR5E01", which they had interpreted as the exit of the human alimentary canal.
My small team of 20-something, beer-swilling, Viz-reader/programmers were tasked with writing a short batch job and supporting data file that would scrub all invoice codes for potentially offensive terms.
Though we did not have a degree in linguistics between us, we had a wonderful week populating the data file with every phonetic combination we could think of.
And in the large open-plan office we frequented, the sound of school-boy sniggering was met with much tut-tutting and persistent calls to "just finish it, will you?"
Funny how the Register is getting all high and mighty and "really far too shocked" to say anything about the offensive word (which actually isn't really a word).
One person is randomly generated a word and is offended. The Register is so appalled that they decide to broadcast the word to it's millions of readers.
Two faced or just shoddy journalist, you decide...
Unfortunate call references
A firm I used to work for installed a lotus notes database for call logging. The call references were the first letter of the users christian name followed by the first two and last letters of the surname and a sequential number. Fine, until Sara Hirst joined the company!
They're not the only ones...
Years ago, working on an ISP helpdesk, I got a call from someone having problems with their connection.
One of the things was making sure that the password was correct and his was something like "12f*ck34". I phonetically spelled this to him and as an aside said that the passwords were randomly generated.
"That's what I thought" he said, "but my best friend's contains c*nt"
The passwd aint obscene, using IE is
I don't see the problem
But then, for many years my Public name on Ebay was "Felch"
This is not exaclty new...
...several years ago i worked for a budget airline (not saying which one but I am now scared of orange...) and we had a similar problem.
The booking reference number was a series of letters and numbers, they were strictly logical (ie if you had aaaa1 the next would be aaaa2 and so on). As you can imagine we got a few phone calls when people booking numbers contained "s**t", "f**k", "c**t" I am sure you can think of all the others. Cencored the words in case El Reg gets to offended.
@Patrick - Not a word?
It's certainly used where I come from following the long tradtion of adding "ed" to pretty much any word to get another word for drunk - see trolleyed, wasted, bladdered, f*cked, and indeed c*nted. While I admit adding a number to the end makes it less of a word, in this text age it would go: "Do u know who paid for taxi, or were u c*nted2?"
As for the quality of journalism, most sites are blocked at my work so it's nice to be able to read adult-oriented content and tat about z-list celebrities as well as the healthy dose of tech stuff!
Right, back to podball.
Around 1990, DEC introduced VMS 4.0, which came with a password generator. It used random letters arranged in pronounceable formations, complete with suggestions on how to actually say it. Now it also had a "naughty word" filter, but a few slipped by. Like a woman (who also happened to be another admin, although she was Solaris and I was VMS). She laughed and called us all over. The suggested password was Urc**t2. She used it. Also saw poofter once.
Learn to read.
...if the address bar, the bit with 'https:' in it, isn't a yellowy colour, as it is on my mac when viewing a secure page, doesn't that mean that in this case the page is likely just a bit of rewritten html, with the contributor typing in the address him/herself to give the false appearance of an actual web location? Forgive me if I'm mistaken there.
Lurn 2 CapItalIzE
(please don't hurt me...)
Purposely use them
Number one rule of work station security for me. DO NOT tell anyone your password. Therefore, I use obscene PWs as a matter of course. Anytime someone asks for my PW, I immediately think of the sexual harassment lawsuit to follow and politely decline. Also makes them fairly easy to remember.
They can block Page3, but I can still type in a robust insult, or at least a descriptive explicative, every single time I log on.
Nah mate, only IE7 does that.
Remember: IE6 was written over half a decade ago. Safari and Firefox only came out with this stuff recently.
L33t Names 4Real!
I think I saw this one in New Zealand's bestselling "B16 B00k of L33t B4by N4m3s".
It was in the "N4m3s 4 Tw1ns" section (C*nted1 and C*nted2).
Speaking of Countdown
I was on the continent recently and flicking through the television I saw the French version of Countdown and obviously the producers didn't see it but I sniggered at something very obscene which had been picked at random by the contestants. I forget the string, but I do remember laughing and no one else in the room getting it (I was the only native English speaker in the room).
I managed to avoid explaining it.
Could it be that...
.. the password generator is a Cunning Linguist?
re Steven's comment on "Not a Word"
Yes, agree with the "trolleyed", "wasted" example, but to sound like a boring English teacher for a moment, I think it's one of those verb/noun things. Trolleyed is being used as an action. I'm not sure what action you'd be doing with the password example...
Take your point on the adult content aspect though.... clearly everyone else here is as offended as the Reg (ahem).
It's only words, for pete's sake. It's not like they acctually POSTED a picture of one. If this kind of thing, and especially a randomly generated one, still offends people, I'm frankly quite shocked, considering the smut you get on TV and the internet today, and don't get me started on the tabloids...
How about we all create our own versions of this article? Seriously this is very very poor.
Which is exactly why I when creating a random password generator I always leave the vowels out...
Re: Silly people!
If that worked though the personalised numberplate biz would go down the drain.
You would still get Cnt and Fck.
What offends me...
What offends me is that the passwords are barely adequate for security. I mean 7 letters with a single, initial capital and a trailing digit? this is the 21st century, not the 1980's!
Not very secure, either.
Six or seven characters are not enough; also their suggestions all put the only capital at the beginning and the only numeral at the end.
If that is a consistent pattern, it should be fairly sraightforward to modify a cracking algorithm to deal with it.
I roll my own passwords, and the ones for serious business have letters capitalised randomly, and numerals interspersed, also randomly. Not always easy to remember, but I get by.
What, like, full of iron?
Tbh they should be proud to be c*nted2
Badge of honour that :)
Which reminds me of my supervisor at IBM who attended an AIX course and was given a certificate at the end, (a real one, not a joke one,) that said:
Certified Unix Network Technician
..at the top of the page. :)
Anyone noticed that the 3rd password is silly ass phonetically?
at $JOB-2 I had to write a "lost my password" feature, which would reset their password to something new as it was stored as one way hash and thus not recoverable.
to avoid problems I simply made the PW be a random number from 00000000 to 99999999.
simply missing out vowels mean you'll insult a bunch of welsh or slavic people!
Nice to see hosts with a sense of humour.
RE: Hang On
"..if the address bar, the bit with 'https:' in it, isn't a yellowy colour, as it is on my mac when viewing a secure page, doesn't that mean that in this case the page is likely just a bit of rewritten html, with the contributor typing in the address him/herself to give the false appearance of an actual web location? Forgive me if I'm mistaken there."
No, that just means that he's not using a browser that makes the address bar yellow when viewing an https page. Not all of us non-mac users need this helping hand when carrying out our day-to-day web surfing.
Aside from the wee dig there, sorry bout that, but you were screaming out for it, any posted screenshot could be a fake, whether its got a yellow address bar or not.