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May 2002 Archives

May 17, 2002

Pronounceable Password Generator

I was writing a simple password generator program today. Actually I was finally debugging it. I had started several months ago. The program generates passwords of a given length by generating random characters until the length is reached. Problem is these passwords are very hard to memorize. The work great for system accounts that you want to be hard to remember. But don't work well for everyday passwords.

A friend of mine pointed me to two password generators available on the web that make pronounceable passwords. Now this is a good idea as long as it doesn't use words in the dictionary. Dictionary words tend to be easy to crack because their are programs that will throw the dictionary at the system until a match is found.

The first generator, Java Password Generator, is free. This does generate pronounceable passwords. They aren't necessarily secure passwords. The author does suggest you change the case of some of the characters, substitute numbers etc.

The second generator, Masking Password Generator 2, is shareware. If you buy the Pro version, you get pronounceable passwords, that can also conform to your company standards. This looks interesting. I may download it and try it, just to see how well it works. Of course, I'd have to pay the $20 to get the pronounceable passwords.

The first generator's author also referenced documents that describe how this is done. He also offers the source code as long as you follow his simple and reasonable guidelines. I may have to look at that as well, of course I don't know Java.

By the way, if you want you can try my program. I offer it with no support, assurances, or anything else. If it breaks something, then all I can say is I'm sorry. I can't fix it. You will need the VB6 runtime (Thanks to Karen for the VB6 runtime package).


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