WASHINGTON: It's time for Kanye West to do something about his iPhone passcode.
While visiting the Oval Office on Oct 11, the rapper and music impresario was caught on camera logging onto his mobile device, a single digit pressed six times, 000000.
Cybersecurity folks did the virtual equivalent of a head slap.
“Sheesh,” tweeted Graham Cluley, a British security blogger.
Such a simple passcode is the equivalent of typing in “password1234”, which would never stump a hacker. Critics had a field day.
“Kanye with the expert 000000 passcode,” tweeted Kenny Ducey, a senior editor for social media at Sportsnet New York.
“Hello hackers, do your thang!” tweeted @twistedfables.
“He'll be changing it to '111111' this evening,” posted another, @FineHijinx.
A quick look at Twitter found posts in Turkish, Russian, German and Spanish about the passcode faux pas.
“Doesn't the iPhone actually yell at you for picking “000000” and “123456”? Not that I've tried it, of course,” posted Matthew D. Green, a cryptographer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Another academic in the cybersecurity field, John Krautheim of Augusta University in Georgia, quickly responded with a screenshot of the window that pops up on an iPhone when one attempts to use such a passcode: “This Passcode can be easily guessed,” it says, offering the option of “Use Anyway” or “Change Passcode”.
Some security professionals saw Kanye's passcode entry as a teachable moment.
“Lots of folks will laugh at this, but I think it's a useful illustration of how security 'features' fail when security decisions get offloaded to users who see them as annoying obstacles,” tweeted Matt Tait, a former information security specialist for Britain's signals intelligence agency.
The security blunder is not the first unusual or mysterious cellphone incident to come out of the White House. Shortly after midnight on May 31, 2017, President Donald Trump posted a tweet that read, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” And it ended at that.
To this day, no one knows what “covfefe” means. But it has become a code word in itself – for mystery. – McClatchy Washington Bureau/Tribune News Service