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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Catherine Zeta-Jones and the security of touchscreen passwords

Mark Bridge writes:

I knew I’d seen it before. Towards the end of last week I read about a study from the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania that said it was pretty easy to identify passwords from smudges on touchscreen mobile phones.

We discussed it in this morning’s edition of The Fonecast and I mentioned that I was sure I’d seen something similar in film. Well, I’ve been doing some checking online and I’ve confirmed my suspicions. The 1999 movie Entrapment, which starred Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, includes a scene where the pair attempt to break into the ‘International Clearance Bank’ at the top of the Petronas Towers.

They reveal a number of fingerprints on a Dataton touch-sensitive panel and quickly conclude the passphrase is ‘Don't use a cannon to kill a mosquito’.

Entrapment touch-screen passphrase

As for my reference to Ms Zeta-Jones’s bottom; if you’ve not seen the film, there's a scene where the actress climbs through a 'net' of laser beams that many cinemagoers were particularly fond of. Take a look at the film trailer if you're still not sure what I'm talking about.

 

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