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Creative Password Policy Experience

7 Aug 2014

I once tried to start to use passwords which were immune to exhibitionism, that means that even when someone average would happen to see them on the screen or otherwise were not able to reproduce them at least with no hard effort. This led me to use full scale of Unicode charset, specifically non-Latin characters. However what happened for a famous and global hotel web application when I did implement such a password? It crashed! Completely.


This maybe tells more about their actual customer base than their implementation of information security procedures. Their solution to this was to revoke my permission to ever change my password again, I mean EVER! If they ever had such a global customer base as they advertise, surely they had faced this issue earlier when someone using non-Latin charset passwords, but clearly they did not.


This demonstrates the positive sides of the famous homoglyphs issue, which in many cases is seen as only being negative and problematic. In the global post-national world, there will, and should, be more and more cases where the scripts are overlapping. Is the whole Unicode then doomed? If you ask me, no, not really, since its partial in any case. The world of communication and the world of signs is evolving and the scope of Unicode will never cover all of it. Neither should we limit ourselves to the concept of glyphs or signs, surely there are may other ways to communicate, aren’t there? For example: no dot in one language, how do they type then dotcom? Are we trying to impose some specific way to scripting globally then?

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