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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Ken Thompson’s 1980 Unix password got cracked only a while ago: he used much entropy in his password

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/07/22

A few years back, Ken Thompson’s 1980 Unix password got cracked.

It took that long because his password p/q2-q4! had enough entropy by using uncommon characters so the crypt(3) based hash ZghOT0eRm4U9s was hard to crack.

The password was an opening chess move noted in the variety of the descriptive notation. A shorter notation would have been P-Q4, which would require months to crack in that era.

In modern chess notation, it would be 1. d4, moving the Queen’s Pawn from d2 to d4.

References (many interesting messages in the TUHS thread below):



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