Share This Page

Newsmaker: Ashwini Rao

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 11:33 p.m.
Ashwini Rao Rao will present findings from research she led on how grammar affects password security to an Association for Computing Machinery conference on Feb. 20 in San Antonio She is the newsmaker for Feb. 14, 2013,

Noteworthy: Rao will present findings from research she led on how grammar affects password security to an Association for Computing Machinery conference on Feb. 20 in San Antonio.

Age: 32

Residence: Shadyside

Family: Husband, Birendra Jha

Occupation: Rao is a software engineering doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University.

Background: Rao worked as an engineer at Appian Corp. in Reston, Va., and Qualcomm Inc. in San Diego, as well as a researcher and teaching assistant at CMU. A research team led by Ashwini developed a password-cracking algorithm that took into account grammar and tested it against more than 1,400 passwords containing at least 16 letters. Using a phrase or short sentence might make a password easier for users to remember, but proper grammatical structure also narrows possible combinations and sequences of words, research showed.

Education: Bachelor's degree from the University of Mysore in India and master's degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and CMU

Quote: “I've seen password policies that say, ‘Use five words.' Well, if four of those words are pronouns, they don't add much security.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.