Software Twist – Adrian Tosca Blog

Little details

Posted in Miscellaneous by Adrian Tosca on 2011, January 19

I was registering to Red Hat Virtual Experience forum and was filling the usual “name-address-can we contact you” form when, to my surprise I got a form validation error because the password was not between 4 and 8 characters long. Yes this is right, one of the big enterprise software houses are running an online web site where the maximum password length is 8 characters, a length that is known to be “crackable” with medium levels of ability and resources. I don’t even want to discuss the 4 characters length passwords.

This is one of those little details that can turn the credibility you have in a company with 180 degrees.

The sad thing is that I see this kind of behavior a lot lately and most from ‘big’ names. For example passwords that can only be alpha-numeric in a IBM program site I am part of  – it crashed when I included a couple of ‘non-standard’ characters, one of the banks I opened an account recently required fixed 8 numeric characters passwords for its online banking systems and so on. After so many big security leaks that originated with a week password guessed, you would expect this to change. For example December last year, Gawker network was completely hacked and thousands of records with personal data were stolen.

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