ji32k7au4a83 is a surprisingly bad password

The password "ji32k7au4a83" may seem quite safe thanks to its seemingly random mix of letters and numbers. But surprisingly, that exact password has appeared in 141 data violations, as cataloged by the Have I Been Pwned site and detected by Gizmodo . It leads to the obvious question: how is it that so many people use this password?

Robert Ou, a hardware and software engineer, first saw this interesting string of characters and challenged people to discover why ji32k7au4a83 is so commonly used. Taiwanese internet users quickly decoded the answer. They pointed out that on a Taiwanese keyboard with the design of Zhuyin Fuhao, the string spells the "的 的 密碼", or "wǒ de mìmǎ", which means "my password" in Mandarin. Much for a secure password.


ji32k7au4a83 is a surprisingly bad password

You can see what's happening in the photo above, which shows the keyboard layout of Zhuyin Fuhao. When writing the letter J, then I, I will add two of the symbols (ㄨ + ㄛ), pronounced u and o, that appear in the upper right part of the keys, to form wo. Then you have to write the tone of the character, therefore, 3. Ji3 is translated as "I" in English, and then, "my" after adding "2k7", the next three characters in the password.

The most common form of writing Chinese characters in Taiwan is a system called Zhuyin Fuhao, which teaches elementary school children to start learning to read and write Chinese. I remember learning these symbols in Chinese class too well … In fact, I failed in my first class and stayed behind while the other children graduated in front of me because my memorization was very poor. (For now, however, I basically recognize the symbols in view). As a side note, mainland China uses a different system, so the people who create ji32k7au4a83 may be mainly from Taiwan.

While ji32k7au4a83 ("my password") has appeared in 141 data violations, au4a83 (meaning that, you guessed it, "password") has appeared 1,495 times. The lesson here is that even if you are using a custom keyboard that generates strings of letters and numbers that can confuse many English speakers, use something that amounts to "password" since your password is still a bad idea. Someone will know exactly what you are trying to do.

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