Computers Programmers On TV Shows

I rolled on the floor laughing at a technical blunder on Law and Order Criminal Intent (epsiode 42, Blink), last night.

My wife loves it when I roll on the floor laughing at technical blunders in TV shows.

Eames (Kathryn Erbe) is busy trying to guess the password to gain entry to a suspect's computer. She demonstrates her amazing knowledge of Defensive Programminhg Practices when she declares:

And yes, after three bad guesses, they are given a clue, in the form of a latin word, which Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) correctly recognises as the name of a variety of octopus. The password then, is 'octopus'. They are in.

I don't know who is more to blame for this security blunder -- the shell programmers who give out hints to attackers, or the user who used a common English word as a password. Have they never heard of dictionary attacks? Either way, I think criminals have to seriously upgrade their security protocols.

And don't get me started on 'the DaVinci Code' -- 'Apple?' 'Apple?!'

(p.s. here's an older complaint about technical flaws in Law & Order.)


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