Passwords was: Netscape (was Re: PayPal = payola?)

From: Christopher Smith <>
Date: Tue Jan 29 10:29:23 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lawrence Walker []

> While passwords may be necessary in a business environment,
> they are a real pain to home-based single users or following owners.

They provide a little extra privacy from prying eyes. Of course, there
is no password that can't be circumvented somehow, given access to the
console, or, in a worst case, the system itself.

> I mean, really, I'm in the middle of nowhere in northern Manitoba,
> in a house where I live alone with a protective dog, and only hook up
> to my ISP when I want to access it. Do I need this ? But even my

You could turn it off. :)

> NEXT demands a password and I had to do an extensive search to find
> out how to re-do the original one. But of course the holy grail of
> computer makers is that BIG contract.

Any unix I've ever met will let you blank the password out... it will
still ask for it, but you can just hit return.

> complicate my life. I thought that that's one of the things
> that computers
> were for. To uncomplicate tasks and processes. On my computers

Certainly they make higher math and weather modeling much easier. ;)

> Windblows is the least of the transgressors. The UNIX type
> are the worst
> since they grew up in a security-conscious business environment.

Lots of unixes even have an "auto-login" feature.

> Right now after going thru a difficult Linux Red-Hat install
> I can't find the
> slip I wrote the password it insists upon, and must do a
> fresh install.

Actually you may be able to boot in single user mode without a
password. Try it.

> Fuck it, I'll reformat and look at another OS.
> I believe that OS's or programs that don't provide
> non-password access
> should be boycotted.

Well, again, just because it asks for a password, doesn't mean you've
got to use one...

> Do these guys really think that passwords can protect their data if
> they don't have physical access protection ? We all know that even
> supposedly deleted files can be ressurected. This is SUIT mentality
> and they live in an imaginary world that they proclaim is the BOTTOM
> LINE, realistic view of things. As MS has learned to it's
> chagrin every
> man-made "security" feature can be end-run by some bright young
> hacker.

Um, well, certainly any MS security feature can be circumvented by a
blindfolded, dyslexic baboon. :)

You are also right that there is a way around any security control,
given physical access to the system. That really isn't the point of
software security, though.

I do realize that you are likely to be ranting due to frustration, but
if nothing else, try blanking out some of your passwords and
save yourself some of that trouble. :)



Christopher Smith, Perl Developer
Amdocs - Champaign, IL

/usr/bin/perl -e '
print((~"\x95\xc4\xe3"^"Just Another Perl Hacker.")."\x08!\n");
Received on Tue Jan 29 2002 - 10:29:23 GMT

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