And Now for Something Completely Different

Not long ago — in the 32-bit days of MacOS, the OSX days — it had a feature built-in to the Keychain Access tool that would create pronounceable passwords.

They removed it.

**sigh**

So, I came up with a trivial bash-based solution. https://github.com/w1lnx/passphrase

And, as its ReadMe says:

Quick tool to generate meaningful memorable password phrases.

Presently in macOS 10.15.5, the Password Assistant offers only these four options with (examples for reference):

  • Letters & Numbers: BWib0hGLZg0N…
  • Numbers Only: 3311049148…
  • Random: x*B{m6MNH…
  • FIPS-181 Compliant: wehritirby…

Every one of them will generate a password that is either quite difficult for a human to remember, or, paradoxically, trivially-simple for a computer to brute-force. See also: xkcd #936

This is an expeditious interim solution.

Uses the word list that is included with all macOS / OS X versions and randomly selects a word length and uses generally-safe characters to separate them.

Usage

Only need to run the passphrase.sh script:

./passphrase.sh

Also, seriously, just read the shell script before you run it. It’s not very long at all and not at all complex — it does contain some rather uncommon bash terms.

But if you’re scratching your head for a password when you create a new account somewhere, rather than rely on the old standards of ‘changeme’, ‘password1’, ‘12345’, or ‘correct horse battery staple’ (or any other amazingly common passwords), just type passphrase.sh and it’ll create and present to you a sufficiently-random password that you can just copy/paste into the account creation and your keyring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.