Improving your online security by making your password more difficult to hack but easier to remember.

February 20th, 2017
by Kristof

Passwords can be hacked - sometimes by a computer, sometimes by a human.

Here is my advice to people that want to make their online accounts more secure. We will start out with a real life example and build its complexity and, in the end, we will have a way of creating unique passwords for every possible use.

1. An easy to remember password is better than one you can't remember.
That means that "strawberry" is better than aj374h58&%$3djde.[ if you have to write it down somewhere. A password locker on your PC or app counts as writing it down - and you won't be able to log on if you don't have access to your phone or PC. Let's say my daughter's name is Louise. That's easy to remember. Let's go by Louise. It's easy to remember. The make of the first car you every drove, or you favourite dish would probably be a better pick, but let's go with super obvious now.

Password: Louise
Time to hack: instantly
Difficulty to guess: very easy

2. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters
It makes it slightly harder for a computer to hack your password. Louise already has rule #2 applied. Ready to go.

Password: Louise
Time to hack: instantly
Difficulty to guess: very easy

3. Use a number somewhere - any number.
It makes it slightly harder for a computer to hack your password. I could use L0uise or L0u1s3 or I could simply use Louise2008, which is her year of birth. A longer password is always harder to hack, so let's go with Louise2008.

Password: Louise2008
Time to hack: 8 months
Difficulty to guess: medium

4. Throw in one or more symbols for good measure

It makes it generally much, much harder for a computer to hack your password and also for a person to just guess your password. It's still medium though, because anyone leaning over your shoulder may be able to guess the password by your typing. When picking a symbol, try to take one that is available on keyboards all over the world.

Password: Louise>2008
Time to hack: 800 years
Difficulty to guess: difficult

5. Make it unique and still easy to remember
If someone steals the user data from a website, they may be able to just read your password if that website has it stored in a database. Even if the password is encrypted, it can be reverse engineered. To avoid this, we would need to have a unique password for every website, every company we work at and maybe for every device we have. It's however simple to do.

Pick a number under 6 and stick with it - this is the number of letters you will be lending from every website, device or company you need to have a password for. The more letters you use, the longer your password will become and the less your password is likely to be hacked or guessed, but it also increases the time needed to type your password and the number of mistakes you could make. You can choose to have either the first or last 6 letters, or maybe even decide to skip the first 4 and then have the remaining 6 ... Let's say we choose the first 5 letters of whatever we are creating a password for.

Let's make a password for the company you work at - say IBM, your Google account, your account at DeviantArt.com and your password to unlock your Huawei P9.

IBM
I could use IBM in its entirety or take the full name (International Business Machines). I'll go with the second option.

Password: InterLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

Google

Password: GooglLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

DeviantArt.com

Password: DeviaLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

Huawei P9

Password: HuaweLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

6. Periodically changing passwords
This one is easy. When a company or website requires you to change your password every so often, add the year and month to your password. For IBM, in February 2017, it would look like this.

Password: InterLouise>2008.1702
Time to hack: 9 sextillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

7. It works.

I have been using this algorithm for 15 years now and I can guess my password for any device or website within 3 tries, even if I haven't been there for years - but even if a hacker got hold of my password for a certain device or website, it would be near impossible to deduce what my password is going to be for another website or device.

Posted in Selfish | Comments (0)

Quick concatenation of rows in T-SQL using FOR XML PATH

February 9th, 2017
by Kristof

If you want to quickly concatenate a resultset, here's a quick and easy way to do it.

SELECT 
	ProductType AS [text()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

SELECT 
	ProductType AS [data()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

The example with text() will yield a space-delimited list of values. The example with data will yield a continuous list of values. Here's how to supply a delimiter.

SELECT 
	DISTINCT 
	',' + ProductType AS [data()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

You can also use DISTINCT to have recurring values appear only once.

SELECT 
	DISTINCT 
	',' + ProductType AS [data()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

You can also concatenate multiple fields. The example below also shows how to remove the leading delimiter.

SELECT
	STUFF(
		(SELECT 
			DISTINCT 
			';' + ProductType + ': ' + ProductTypeCategory AS [data()]
		FROM
			dbo.Product
		FOR XML PATH ('')), 1, 1, '')

Enjoy!

Posted in Sql | Comments (0)

Selecting and setting the melody on the e-Prance doorbell

November 28th, 2015
by Kristof

This may also work on other doorbells utilising the same chipset, including EasyAcc, MagicFly, Forrinx, ... If you doorbell has 52 melodies, one or two receivers and a led, this will probably work for you.

  • If the doorbell is more than a ten second run away from your chime, you may want to call in a second person to help. Have that person stand at the doorbell.
  • Select the melody you want by pressing the bottom button on the chime (with the music note on it). Don't press the doorbell while you're selecting.
  • Once you've found a suitable melody, press the top button (volume) until the led flashes and a sound is played. You know have about ten seconds to get to the doorbell.
  • Rush to the doorbell and press the doorbell once. The melody will start to play. You now have about ten seconds to get back to the chime.
  • Run back to the chime and press the volume button again until the led flashes and the sound plays.

You have now set the melody. Congratulations.

Posted in Selfish | Comments (0)

Fritz!Box manual firmware upgrade

August 24th, 2014
by Kristof

Today, I wanted to use my old 7390 Fritzbox as a repeater, because wireless reception on the second floor of my house was worthless. I tried to updte the firmware, but I couldn't get to the "update from file" tab. Finally, after much tinkering, I found that you need to adjust the view.

In old firmwares, you can get to the expert view by clicking "expert mode" at the top of the "overview" page. In more recent firmwares, you can get there by clicking the "View: Standard" link at the bottom of the overview page.

Posted in Selfish | Comments (0)

The type of the value being assigned to variable differs from the current variable type.

August 12th, 2014
by Kristof

This post addresses the following error message.

The type of the value being assigned to variable differs from the current variable type. Variables may not change type during execution. Variable types are strict, except for variables of type Object.

In my case, the error was because I tried to assign a varchar(max) to a string type variable in SSIS. It turns out that varchar(max) is not assignable to a string type object. The best option is to forcefully convert the value to a varchar(8000) or nvarchar(4000) before assigning it.

I previously stated that a string variable in SSIS can only contain 4000 characters, but that is not correct. A string in SSIS has an unlimited length, but the maximum length of an evaluated expression is 4000 characters, so concatenating over 4000 characters using an expression will result in an error. However, when assigning a value to a string from a resultset, the length is actually unlimited and you can assign over 4000 characters to a string using this method. This also means that you can work around the SSIS expression limitation by using a SQL box to concatenate two strings using a select ? + ?, for example.

Posted in SSIS | Comments (0)

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline