11-Year-Old Makes $12 Per Hour Developing Strong Passwords By Rolling Dice

Posted: Oct 26 2015, 9:06pm CDT | by , in News | Technology News


Mira Modi
Photo credit: Julia Angwin

A New York City sixth grader, Mira Modi, makes about $12 per hour generating strong passwords that can never be hacked or compromised, and she is only 11 years old. She charges only $2 per customer to generate the strongest of passwords, and she uses the six-word Diceware passphrase done manually to get her secured passwords.

Modi in her spare time now makes this a business, and she opened a website www.dicewarepasswords.com to reach a wider clientele. The Diceware system of generating passwords works by rolling dice to generate random numbers which are then matched to some list of English words. The words are then compiled into a non-sensical string (ample banal bias delta gist latex) which is very random and almost impossible to hack.

Modi is the daughter of Julia Angwin, a journalist with ProPublica who covers privacy issues, and the author of Dragnet Nation. Angwin secured the help of Modi to generate Diceware passphrases when she was researching for her book, but her daughter later made it into a business. Soon enough, she went with her mother on book events and sold passwords generated with dice on the spot.

"I wanted to make it a public thing because I wasn’t getting very much money," she said. "I thought it would be fun to have my own website."

With the roll of a dice, Modi tallies the random number that comes up with a number of words from a Diceware word list. The corresponding password is then written out by hand on a sheet of paper and mail via US Postal Mail service to the customer.

Her average earning of $12 per hour working full-time is more than the $8.75 minimum wage earned by workers in New York, although this might be raised to $9 by December this year. Modi has sold a total of about 30 passwords since she started her discreet business.

"I think [good passwords are] important. Now we have such good computers, people can hack into anything so much more quickly," she said. "We have so much more on our social media. We post a lot more social media—when people hack into that it’s not really sad, but when people [try to] hack into your bank account or your e-mail, it’s really important to have a strong password. We’re all on the Internet now."

She does not store a copy of any passwords she generated for any customers.

"People are worried that I will take your passwords, but in reality I won’t be able to remember them," Modi said. "But I don’t store them on any computer anywhere. As far as I know there is only one copy of your password. The passwords are sent by US Postal Mail which cannot be opened by the government without a search warrant."

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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