11 year-old girl generates $2 diceware passwords

News by Roi Perez

Earlier this month, 11 year-old Mira Modi began selling passwords on her website dicewarepasswords.com, where she generates six-word cryptographically secure Diceware passphrases by hand.

Modi is no ordinary sixth-grader, either. She's the daughter of Julia Angwin, a veteran privacy-minded journalist at ProPublica and author of Dragnet Nation.

Diceware is a system where you roll six-sided dice as a way to generate truly random numbers that are matched to a long list of English words. Those words are then combined into a non-sensical string ("arab-tree-modish-sib-zz-riley-irene").

The reason these passphrases are powerful is because they are truly random which makes it difficult for machines to guess, and as they use common words, they are relatively easy for people, young or old, to memorise.

In an interview with Ars Technica, Modi said "This whole concept of making your own passwords and being super secure and stuff, I don't think my friends understand that, but I think it's cool,"

Each time an order comes in, Modi rolls physical dice and looks up the words in a printed copy of the Diceware word list. She writes—by hand—the corresponding password string onto a piece of paper and sends it by postal mail to the customer.

According to Ars Technica, Modi has so far sold "around 30" in total for US$2 each, comprising a mixture of digital and real-world sales.


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