I’ve been waiting quite a while to see mnemonicode pop up in the rotation. I remember adding it to the list a long while back and thinking, “That is really cool.”
mnemonicode is not a new tool; in fact, the GitHub repo I linked to is just a six-year-old (?) mirror of the original, which is apparently no longer online (but is archived, thank goodness). But I’m really glad I found it, and that Stephen Paul Weber uploaded it there.
What’s so great about it? Well, if you’re like me, and your passwords are just 12-digit strings of random letters and numbers, they can get a little clunky to remember. (But they are fairly time-consuming to force.) Unless the password actually has some intrinsic meaning to it, which mine don’t, it can be a challenge. Of course, that’s the purpose of having such an obtuse password.
But here’s what mnemonicode can do, with its
kmandla@6m47421: ~$ echo TxFX0rxNFkVN | mnencode nova-figure-peru--george-side-ninja jargon-contact-ninja--airline
See where this is going yet?
kmandla@6m47421: ~$ echo "nova-figure-peru--george-side-ninja > jargon-contact-ninja--airline" | mndecode TxFX0rxNFkVN
No longer do I need to remember a string of 12 characters or letters. If I can recall the normal English words, hyphens and line breaks that mnencode gave me, I can translate it back as a matter of course.
To the best of my knowledge, this is not an additional layer of encryption. I’m not actually making the password any more secure than if I had converted with something like rot13. But it does make it easier to remember.
I’d also be a little more comfortable relaying words or sequences of numbers to someone, perhaps written down or face-to-face, if I knew they were going to pipe it back through
mndecode later. Which may be part of its history, actually.
mnemonicode could use a little attention these days; aside from the archived explanation of the original program, the GitHub version doesn’t seem to have any documentation. What little I know is through experimentation.
mnemonicode is in AUR and in Sid; I’m glad to see that since I have a feeling this could be something useful in my encrypted live system. It would at least help me remember some of the more eccentric passwords I use. 😐
P.S.: No, those are not my real passwords. You should know better than that.