Sophont
Sunday, July 10, 2005
 
Andy Rooney is a security idiot
jaynote: I was taping 60 minutes tonight because they had a segment on new flying machines, so I saw Rooney's bit.
He did a list of things that are true, and one of them was;
"Numbers are longer than they used to be. There's something wrong with a personal identification number on a credit card or a bank check that is larger than the number of people that there are in the world."

no no no Mr. Rooney, there is nothing wrong with that. Suppose the number of id numbers was twice the population. This gives 2 problems; a 50% chance that any random number would be valid, and when the population grows you run out of numbers (like we are with Vehicle Identification Numbers in 2011)

With 12 digits for a credit card individual account identifier there's a trillion (10 raised to the 12th power, or 1,000,000,000,000) possible account numbers, so odds are a valid number can't be guessed, nor will we run out of numbers in the near future.

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