Wednesday, November 29, 2017

None Shall Pass

Amid an unrelated bureaucratic uproar the size of which beggars the imagination, Home Campus has decided that now is the perfect time to make people change their login passwords.

I know.

Apparently we’re supposed to do this every 180 days, though to the best of my knowledge the last time I actually did so was sometime in the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.  It has never been a problem before now, nor would it ever be a problem – forcing people to change passwords just ensures that they end up writing them down somewhere for others to find and use, and from what I’ve gathered it has very little if any positive impact on network security.

But we live in an age of Security Theater (remember to take off your shoes before entering the gate area, people!) and sometimes all you can do is clap along with the rest of the audience while the dancing continues. 

That and they actually threatened to cut off my access to my account if I didn’t change my password.  FOR REALZ this time.

So I did.

Now I have no idea how to get into anything, because it turns out that this password change only affected about half the systems that I actually use.  It is a game I play with myself these days, guessing which systems I can get into with the new password and which ones still take the old one, and then remembering that for the next time.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a pattern that I can detect, but I keep playing.  If I win, I get to play again. 

And there are still a few things that I haven’t yet tried to log into, so more adventure awaits.

Theoretically, in six months I get to do this all over again, unless they forget about me for a couple of decades like they did last time.  Because of the nature of my employment history with Home Campus I do fall through a lot of cracks in the system and it would not surprise me a bit if they did forget about me.

I’d actually be okay with that, as this whole password changing thing is just one more thing I have to remember at a time in my life when I really should be allowed to slip gracefully into absent-minded peace.

But now I’m Secure.  I’m Hacker Proof.  I’m, well, not kidding myself about any of that, really, and I’m just hoping I can remember my various passwords long enough to be productive. 

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