(New Scientist) Along with birthdays, names of pets and ascending number sequences, add one more thing to the list of password no-nos: good grammar.

An algorithm developed by Ashwini Rao and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, makes light work of cracking long passwords which make grammatical sense as a whole phrase, even if they are interspersed with numbers and symbols. Rao’s algorithm makes guesses by combining words and phrases from password-cracking databases into grammatically correct phrases.

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