Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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pass phrase search space reducer

A method for discerning pass-phrases without rubber hose decryption.
  [vote for,

The human mind is far less random than we like to think. Common phrases, thoughts, and ideas pop up in patterns and the same associations are made at various times. Furthermore certain emotions and memories are likely to give rise to the same speech patterns.

I propose a comprehensive study of the human mind that uses observation of the way a subject reacts to various stimuli as he goes about his life. These stimuli would include everything from "being bored all day" to "hearing the word fruitcake" to "hearing his father say "how are you".

When a sufficiently large collection of information about how a person speaks, thinks, writes, and types is made it can be used to tremendously reduce the search space for a passphrase.

Also useful as a general study in psychology and the real-world limitations of the human mind.
Voice, Feb 24 2011

XKCD http://xkcd.com/538/
[hippo, Feb 24 2011]


       Yes, by recreating an accurate reproduction of someone's entire life from childhood, we can more accurately guess what that person's password might be.   

       I do like the fact that this would only be practical in cases where knowing a person's password is more valuable than diverting your available resources towards creating a fully researched multimedia experience requiring months of dedicated effort by a small but talented team of individuals.   

       A rubber hose would be far cheaper.   

       The idea reminds me a bit of Inception.
zen_tom, Feb 24 2011


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