5 Times the Movies Failed at Passwords

By January 10, 2020 Uncategorized 2 Comments

Your favorite movie characters may have impossibly good looks, but unfortunately when it comes to passwords, they’re just like the rest of us. It seems whenever a password comes up in a movie, it’s laughably easy for someone to guess. Of course, the plot wouldn’t get very far if the passwords were truly random and strong, but Hollywood films are littered with utterly terrible passwords. 

Check out these 5 movies where the characters totally failed at passwords: 

#1 WarGames: “pencil” 

In this classic 1983 hacker movie, a young hacker named David Lightman unwittingly accesses a US military supercomputer. After he unknowingly runs a simulation of nuclear war, a chain of events is set in motion as the real US nuclear weapons control system attempts to start World War III. In an early scene in the movie, Lightman breaks into his school’s computer system with the password “pencil”. He also boasts that “they change the password every couple of weeks, but I know where they write it down”. Of course, once in the system, he goes on to change his grades. Not only is the school password atrociously short and guessable, but writing it down where a student can see it? C’mon! 

#2 Spaceballs: “12345” 

Ah, another classic movie. This 1987 comedic science fiction film parodies other popular films like Star WarsStar Trek2001: A Space Odyssey, and more. The oddball romp through space includes a ransomed princess, inept villains, and snarky dialog that pokes fun at every turn. In one scene, the bad guys wait to receive the long-awaited secret code to destroy a planet, which is revealed to be “12345”. Hilariously, the character Helmet blurts out “That’s the stupidest combination I’ve ever heard in my life! That’s the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!” Of course, later, President Skroob, on learning the code, declares “That’s amazing. I’ve got the same combination on my luggage!” At least Helmet knows it’s a terrible, terrible password. 

#3 Iron Man 3: “WARMACHINEROX” 

In the third film of the series based on the Marvel character Iron Man, Tony Stark must avenge his losses and protect the people he loves, even as he becomes more dependent on the suits that make him Iron Man. When Tony requires Iron Patriot’s login at one point, Iron Patriot reveals his username to be WarMachine68 – and his password to be “WARMACHINEROX”. There are worse passwords, of course, but using his original moniker “War Machine” along with a password very similar to his username isn’t exactly the smartest move. 

#4 Ready Player One: “B055man69” 

In this sci fi adventure based off the novel by Ernest Cline, a young Wade Watts becomes an unlikely hero after he joins a contest to find a digital Easter egg hidden by the eccentric creator of OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe. He also draws the attention of Nolan Sorrento, the calculating CEO of a large company trying to gain control of OASIS. In the film, Wade catches a glimpse of Sorrento’s password, B055man69, written on a sticky note stuck to his chair. Later, Wade uses the password to hack into Sorrento’s system. When it comes to his password skills, Sorrento gets a few things right – at least he uses a combination of uppercase, lowercase, and numbers. But writing it down? Big mistake! 

#5 The Hangover Part II: “bologna1” 

In the second installment of The Hangover films, Stu and his groomsman head to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. Predictably, things go awry, resulting in another bad hangover and a comedic adventure to piece together the events of the previous night. At one point, Mr. Chow asks Alan to read out his account number and password, which ends up being “bologna1”.  Hilariously, Mr. Chow admits that his password “used to be bologna, but now they make you add numbers.” Not that we’d expect cybersecurity smarts from the guys in The Hangover films, but using a dictionary-based word with a single number at the end isn’t exactly the best choice in passwords! 

The takeaway?  

Don’t follow the lead of your favorite movie when it comes to password security. Most film characters just don’t follow best practices with their passwords and online security. Though it makes for great plot twists in the movies, it doesn’t translate well in real life. Protect yourself online by using long, random passwords for every single account. Keep them organized and safe in a password manager that only you have access to. Basic steps like these make it much harder for someone to get unauthorized access to your accounts.