By Professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Vijeth: Where were you? You promised to drive me to the airport, but you never showed up, and I missed my flight. You haven’t even said sorry. Why did you let me down?
Felipe: I watched a movie instead. It was a romantic comedy. Don’t be angry with me.
Vijeth: You watched a movie! What kind of excuse is that?
Felipe: It’s the newest kind, a neural excuse. I really wanted to watch the movie, and my desires are lodged in my brain, so my brain made me do it. Continue reading
Your password will probably be hacked soon, and how to (actually) solve the problem
The ancient art of password cracking has advanced further in the past five years than it did in the previous several decades combined. At the same time, the dangerous practice of password reuse has surged. The result: security provided by the average password in 2012 has never been weaker.
After the Twitter accounts for Burger King as well as Chrysler’s Jeep were recently broken into, Twitter apparently issued some advice to the effect that people should be smarter about their password security practices. So: use lots of letters and numbers, passwords should be 10-digits or longer, use a different password for every one of your online accounts and so on.
But this is nuts. Does Twitter know anything about how human beings actually work? Why do you think people reuse their passwords for multiple sites? Why do you think people select easy-to-remember (and easy-to-discover) factoids from their childhoods as answers to security questions?