Friday, March 03, 2006

[geek] Random note about Yahoo! accounts and throw-away Bug Me Not addresses

FYI, if you want to create a throw-away Yahoo! mail account that no one can ever access (including yourself, so be sure it's a true throw-away!), here's a sure-fire tip I just discovered: use a GUID for the password. What's a GUID? It means "Globally Unique IDentifier"; it's a 128-bit alpha-numeric identifier that is, for all practical purposes, unique, and there are (not surprisingly) plenty of websites that will generate them for you. Why, you might ask, would anyone want to use a GUID for a password? Well, it's secure as hell, and since I was creating a bogus email account that I was going to submit to bugmenot, I wanted an account that couldn't be cracked easily but that I didn't care about. So, log in to your Yahoo! mail account and copy-and-paste the GUID into the "Enter New Password" box and the "Confirm New Password" box. When you click "Save", Yahoo! will dutifully change your password... However (and this is the throw-away part) there must be something wrong with their validation process - the GUID must be too long for their database field, because if you try to log in again using your user name and new GUID password, it won't recognize it. It won't recognize the old password at this point either, so all I can guess is that it truncates the GUID when it saves it without kicking back an error message (Good job, guys!). You could probably sit there and fiddle with it to figure out what the new password is, but why bother? So, for the next 60 days or so (before Yahoo! shitcans the account because no one logs in to it), feel free to use "" at sites that require you to provide an email address to view their content (KMOV is a St. Louis, MO television station that had an article I wanted to read...).


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