FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Q. Do you recommend RanPassUI's standard random passwords or the ones generated with 'Manager Insists' enabled?

A. Absolutely strongly recommend against enabling 'Manager Insists' unless your manager insists on it.

With the excellent password manager software around these days, there are even fewer reasons why anyone should object to stronger passwords.

Q. How are the 'Manager Insists' passwords actually bad?

A. Rather than restate the wise words of others, I suggest you read this excellent Wikipedia article on password strength.

Too technical for your manager? This Youtube video may be an eye-opener for them. It demonstrates a modern password cracking tool and the speed at which it knocks over dictionary based passwords. The comparison in the video to complex passwords needing brute force methods is stark.

Q. Since 'Manager Insists' passwords are so dodgy, why provide an option to use them in RanPassUI?

A. Lots of managers believe that more secure passwords aren't really necessary in a LAN environment that's firewalled away from direct access to the Internet. They're too closed minded to be persuaded by arguments that gateway systems can be cracked and visitors left alone can be a hazard. Some may even believe that their organisation is too small to matter (leaving aside the reality that small organisations are often targeted because their security is more likely to be lax).

Obviously, if possible, try to reason with your manager and try to get them to see sense. Good luck to you: sometimes they will. However, arguing (or even raising!) the point with other types of managers will only get you black marks against your name and a reputation for not being "a team player". This is particularly bad in places where IT jobs are rolling contract positions, and they can simply elect to readvertise when your contract's up.

In the end, as a systems administrator, your role is to be an employee of an organisation who cheerfully implements the instructions of your manager — no matter how foolish they may be. As an extreme example, consider the fate of Terry Childs, who disobeyed his IT incompetent management and was put in prison for standing on his principles by following sound security practices to the bitter end... Don't be that guy.

Q. Why is it called 'RanPassUI'?

It began its life as a command-line script called 'RanPass', and was extended to include a graphical User Interface.

Version 1.04 and onward

Q. Why would I want to use RanpassUI 1.04's internal dictionary?

It's a convenient selection of words, which is no-fuss to use.

Q. Why would I want to use external Words files?

The more words, the merrier!

Q. Why does RanpassUI allow you to add a Words file multiple times?

Useful perhaps if you want to "load the dice" in favour of particular sets of words.

Q. Why would I want to only use external Words files?

Probably the best reason is to ensure various "dictionary correct but culturally inappropriate" words are not given to people as passwords. "Slutty", "sexy" and "gorgeous" are perfectly valid dictionary words, but, might well get you hauled in front of a sexual harassment hearing if you hand them out as passwords.

Alternatively, perhaps you want your words to be in another language or include jargon or scientific terms.

Q. How do I trigger a reload of my Words files?

Open 'Edit → Preferences' from the main menu and click the 'Save and close' button on the dialog that opens.

Q. Acknowledgements?

RanpassUI from v1.04 onward includes an internal Words file sourced from the FreeBSD Dict package, which uses a BSD license.

Q. Has RanPassUI really been tested against ReactOS?

Yep. ReactOS is a great project. Hope it sees huge success when it hits Beta and Release.