Artist Creates Bad Passwords Dress and ‘Security Blanket’

Bad Password Dress

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.

Security Blanket and Dress

Security Blanket