Uninformed: Informative Information for the Uninformed

Vol 7» 2007.May

More Secure Mnemonic Passwords

More Secure Mnemonic Passwords[1] (MSMPs), are passwords that are derived from simple passwords which the user will remember with ease, however, they use mnemonic substitutions to give the password a more complex quality. ``Leet-speaking'' a password is a simple example of this technique. For example, converting the passwords ``beerbash'' and ``catwoman'' into leet-speak would result in the passwords ``b33rb4sh'' and ``c@w0m4n'', respectively.

A unique problem of MSMPs is that not all passwords can be easily transformed which limits either the choice of available passwords or the password's seemingly complex quality. MSMPs also rely on permutations of an underlying dictionary words or sets of words which are easy to remember. Various cracking dictionaries have been developed to attack specific methods of permutations such as the "leet-speak" method mentioned above. As with mnemonic passwords, these passwords might be reused across multiple authentication systems.