Edward Snowden destroys John Oliver’s weaksauce password suggestions

Have you ever heard the phrase 'margaretthatcheris110%SEXY'?

 

Kevin Collier

Tech

Published Apr 9, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 2:52 am CDT

It’s no secret that most people are terrible at choosing passwords. But few know the dangers of a bad password better than former National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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In a segment cut from Snowden’s appearance on Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver asks him what he thinks of several short passwords, only to be repeatedly shot down each time.

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Finally, Snowden—whose fastidiousness when it comes to online security is so famous that it’s a minor meme—recites the security equivalent of a mantra: “Shift your thinking from passwords to passphrases.”

The passwords Snowden endorses? Oliver’s “admiralalonzoghostpenis420YOLO” and Snowden’s own “margaretthatcheris110%SEXY.”

It should be obvious—for at least one reason—that you don’t want to actually use those passwords now.

Screengrab via HBO/YouTube

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*First Published: Apr 9, 2015, 4:35 pm CDT