Artist Lorrie Cranor has created a colorful dress and a “Security Blanket” using material that she designed while on a “staybatical” at The Studio for Creative Inquiry. The design for the material came from the most popular bad passwords from the 2009 Rock You hack, a security breach in which passwords were stolen from the social media developer and subsequently made public.
I asked my students to extract the 1000 most popular passwords from the RockYou data set and provide a list to me with frequency counts. I then went through the list and sorted them into a number of thematic groups. I assigned a color to each group and entered the passwords with weights and colors into the Wordle online word cloud generator. I then saved the output as a PDF and edited it in Adobe Illustrator to rearrange them in a shape that I liked, with some pairs of words purposefully place in close proximity. I designed a border, and had the whole thing printed on one large sheet of fabric by Spoonflower.
Similar material, also designed by Lorrie, can be purchased via Spoonflower.