Code 0-0-0, Destruct 0

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We’ve touched on this topic before, but it’s worth revisiting.  As a Star Trek fan, I vividly remember the drama, extreme close ups, and even actual passwords that could be used to engage The Enterprise’s self-destruct mechanism. 

I don’t remember asking, at the time, whether it made any logical sense that The Enterprise even had a self-destruct mechanism.  Other spacecraft did, of course.  Further, self-destruct ability often comes in handy.  The thing that really bugged me was that the code was so damn simple. 

Well, if you believe everything you read on the internet, it turns out that our nuclear launch codes were even simpler:  “[D]uring the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile, for nearly two decades they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes.”  As has been pointed out elsewhere, important things should be secured with more vigor than your luggage locks. 

The same goes for the password you use for your computer to safeguards your clients’ secrets:  Make it tough; change it often; and don’t write it down right next to the keyboard!