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Location:Purdue, University, United States

I have a need for coffee with my oxygen.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Purdue has idiots running their security...

So, Purdue University had someone hack into their system and then that person stole people's passwords.

It was a big deal, everyone had to change their passwords.. yadda yadda.

So now, Purdue University has schemed and planned all summer to come up with ways to prevent another attack on their Super Information Highway. They decided the Staff should be punished for their mistakes. Since I'm a "Staff" member here at Purdue, I also get punished. I have to come up with a password every month that has at least :
A.) One capital letter
B.) One lower case letter
C.)One number
D.) One of these !@#$%^&*() and my password cannot contain any of the following "anna" "ruth" "ann" "nna" "na" "rut" "uth" or any of the past passwords I've used.
If I use an "A" "N" "R" "U" "T" or "H" I cannot have them touching each other, just like in my childhood when I didn't want my broccoli touching my mashed potatoes.

So that leaves me with a password like, "!@$#1234tommyBOY."

Excellent, I can easily remember those passwords every month.

So apparently I'm the little rebel in the office, and I did the thing everyone whispers to each other about. I write down the password, and tape it to my monitor. I was afraid I would forget an O or a @ and then I couldn't get in to check my mail.

Well, a lady, lets call her TheAmazingHippoWoman or TAHW for short, came to the office yesterday to repair one of the computers that I had tried to fix first, but had no luck doing so. The computer had a mouse and in the middle of clicking something, the mouse stopped working entirely, followed by the keyboard. I tried restarting it, which made it dead completely, and then I tried to cut off the power supply to maybe jump start it (I take a very "car like" approach to computers). It didn't work. So I called TAHW and asked her to come over to fix it. She didn't come for an hour or so, and that whole time the computer just sat there fixing itself, because when she came finally, she turned it on and it worked. Amazing.. I know (I should also mention that they can remote access any computer in the Purdue network).

So she proudly proclaims that whoever turned off the power supply actually made the mouse quit working.
Now... after this statement it took me a full 2 minutes of staring before I finally realized she was serious and not making some awful joke.
So I said, very politely, "I think that might have harmed the computer after the fact, but I don't think it hurt the mouse, the mouse quit working long before anyone touched the power supply."
She turned to me with her death ray stare and said, "You are not the computer expert."
When I was silent, and my boss was silent, she decided to turn her attention back to the computer (and of course at that moment), decided to see my password taped to the monitor.

One long knarled finger came out from her folds of flesh and she, with her ghastly face, pointed in mock horror at my password taped breezily there for all to see. “What... Is... THAT!?” she proclaims, almost as if building her case against me with her words. I smile on the inside because I know she hates me for sure, and I say with the utmost seriousness, “That… is my password.”
And almost as if it was some sort of disease that would spread to millions only by reading it, she says, “Take it down! This instant!”

I do.
And she leaves.
And then I put it back up.
My boss thinks I'm playing with fire,
but then she never has asked me to take it down.


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