NSA’s own website won’t accept passwords longer than 12 characters

Want a job at the NSA?

Be aware that they don’t like it if your password is longer than 12 characters:

NSA password limit

Okay, so this is just the careers portal part of the NSA’s website. It doesn’t mean that everything at the NSA is protected by a password of 12 or less characters. But it’s not exactly the finest example to set for others, is it?

I checked it out for myself, and had to raise an eyebrow at the following pop-up message that the NSA’s website displayed:

NSA secured

It’s good to see that the NSA are using HTTPS/SSL to protect our private information in transit. Oh, wait… hang on a minute…

As Martijn Grooten points out, this “may be a rare case in which there’s really no one but you and the site who sees your traffic.”

A cynic might suggest, of course, that all the NSA are doing is encouraging people to use shorter, weaker passwords for perfectly understandable reasons.

Hat-tip: @tdhopper

Tags: , , ,

Smashing Security podcast
Check out "Smashing Security", the new weekly audio podcast, with Graham Cluley, Carole Theriault, and special guests from the world of information security.

"Three people having fun in an industry often focused on bad news" • "It's brilliant!" • "The Top Gear of computer security"

Latest episodes:

, , ,

3 Responses

  1. Iain Wallace

    September 6, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Surely the example they *want* to be setting to others is “Please make your passwords as hackable as possible”? So this is ideal.

  2. Paul

    September 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Ahhh… memories…


Leave a Reply