There is no doubt that passwords play a very important role in cybersecurity. Mira Modi, 11, knows this very well and is offering a simple yet secure solution for a small charge.
Modi uses Diceware, a decades-old password generating system, to make unique and cryptographically secure passphrases, which she then sells in the US. The sixth grader started her enterprise through a website, and is charging $2 per password. "This whole concept of making your own passwords and being super secure and stuff, I don't think my friends understand that, but I think it's cool," Modi told technology site Ars Technica.
Modi's mother, Julia Angwin, a veteran journalist and author of Dragnet Nation, employed her to generate Diceware passphrases as part of her research. That employment helped the young girl think on the lines of selling passwords. Although her venture has not received any publicity, she was able to sell around 30 passwords in total, including some in-person sales.
To get a unique password each time, Modi rolls a six-sided dice as a way to generate random numbers that are matched to a printed copy of an English word list. She then writes down the password string on a paper and sends the same using US Postal Mail. "People are worried that I will take your passwords, but in reality I won't be able to remember them," she said. "But I don't store them on any computer anywhere. As far as I know there is only one copy of your password."
Modi is not the first person who has been using Diceware to generate passwords. But she is perhaps the youngest in the world of cryptography and operational security. She wants to learn more about digital security as well as some concepts about hacking.