- December 5th, 2012
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Some time ago, I went through, as I do on a semi-regular basis, and updated passwords on everything I could remember. I have tools for this. The tools are very good at making things random and hard to guess or hack. They let me specify the types of characters that should appear in them, and how long they should be, and all kinds of funny rules to consider.
This time, I decided to also update the passwords on my DSL modem at home. The maker is Actiontec, although ultimately that isn’t relevant. On the password screen, they accept any character on the password screen, and entries of any length. Given that, I chose my 16 character mixed profile, which is pretty much the strongest one I generally use. A very few sites/apps accept longer ones, but not usually. The dialog accepted my new password, and saved it, and since I was also experiencing some port connection issues at the time, I decided to reset the modem. No problem, everything came right back up minutes later, and I was good to go.
So, I realize at this point that I could reset the modem back to factory defaults, and go ahead and reconfigure my custom settings. I have some specific port maps setup and this is generally a big pain in the butt, so I decide to try contacting their support first. Hit the webpage, leave a message with my email address, and await my reply. A few days later, they do so, indicating that the login page should be able to accept any password length that the password reset script would have allowed, and that I should check to make sure I’m typing correctly.
Really? Um, ok. That is like asking me if the power cord is plugged in. They indicate there is no “backdoor” and that I need to reset the modem to defaults in order to resolve, thank you for playing, we’re considering this issue resolved, and please don’t ask us any more of your stupid questions. kthxbye.
Every once in awhile, all the crap I went to school for actually comes in handy. No, not the most elegant hack, but it got the job done.