The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

On Behalf of Nate

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For those of you don’t know which Nate I mean, you can safely ignore this post.  Sorry about the distraction.

For the rest of you, Nate’s accounts (Livejournal, Facebook, Gmail) have been compromised and his passwords changed, so he has no access to them.  When he gets new accounts, I’ll post the new ones here.  Meanwhile, if he hasn’t replied to you (or sounds really weird), that’s why.

 

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

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  1. Oh, Lord, just what he doesn’t need. I’m glad you’re on it. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Pamela

  2. I saved a copy of Nate’s post before it disappeared. Let me know if there’s anything I can do.

  3. And now the Nate’s compromised LiveJournal account has been deleted.

    Please update us when you can.

    I believe his email address is also compromised. I received mail through it that appeared to be from Louie late Thursday night.

  4. Lenny, Geri: Will do.

  5. Nate’s LJ and gmail are now back.

  6. How are his password making habbits? Simple words or numbers are just begging to be hacked these days. The best route is to have a group of random characters.

    If you go with the standard six minimum password, and use at least one lower case, at least one upper case, and at least one number, then the cracking program would potentially have to go through 62^6=56.8billion possible combinations. Keep in mind that those programs can potentially check thousands of possibilities per second, so you may want to put in symbols also.

    My work requires at least eight characters of lower case, upper case, numbers, and the standard symbols (the ones above the “1” through “0” keys on a standard keyboard), which adds another ten characters to the possibilities, making there a minimum of 72^8 or 722 trillion combinations. We also are required to change our passwords every six months.

    My Facebook password is uses all the possible characters that my phone can generate, which makes it 104 different character possiblities, and my password is 20 characters long. 104^20 is 2.2×10^40 possible combinations or if a program could try 1 billion possible cominations per second, it would still take 694 sextillion (that’s 21 zeros) years. I don’t expect that will ever be broken.

    A single word is a sucky password due to dictionary loggers, which try possible all possible words, but trying a sentence is very effective. For instance: “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”, would be a very effective password and is still easy to remember.

    Don’t be fooled into thinking that replacing letters with l33t letters will work, because many crackers have added a patch to their dictionary logger which allows them to look for common symbol replacements for words.

    You could also do something like take a sentence, use only the first letters and maybe some symbolic representations of those words and put them together. For instance: “Sally sold sixty-six sea shells by the sea shore at seven.” becomes “Ss66csxtcs@7”. That specific example may not be the best, but it should give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

    No password is completely hack-proof, but a good enough password will make them try so long that it won’t matter. There are also many sites that are using simple algarithms which make it impossible to use those key loggers, such as those stupid pictures of letters that you have to type in the letters that you see.

    Good luck to Nate in the future!

  7. Please wish Nate a belated happy birthday from me. I didn’t want to post in FB or LJ because I didn’t know if he would see them.

    Chris, this has nothing to do with accounts being hacked, at least not in the usual sense.

  8. Chris: In this case, I think the lesson is more: Do not give your passwords to an abusive, controlling spouse.

    Margenta: Will do.

  9. SKZB and Magenta, fair enough. I hope that things improve for Nate.

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