What's your pin? Oh, it's this.



  • Just got a replacement phone for the little woman today (Droid Razr). Migrated over the SD and SIM card, powered it up. Surprisingly painless, really. Then I got to Verizon's backup manager, which for the uninitiated, backs up contacts among other things. We only use it for contacts. Anyway, they use a numerical PIN as a password, because who wants to futz with strings. Not necessarily 4 digits, but still. She can't remember it, and I don't remember her ever even telling me it, so whatever, I click the Forgot PIN link, expecting a series of odd questions and such.

    Uh uh. It spat it right out, asking me to write it down, then enter it. So...1. Why the hell do I need to type it in after the phone clearly knows what it is. 2. Why do I need to type it in at all if I just need to feign ignorance to get access anyway. 3. Why the hell is it being stored in a retrievable format, a mistake somewhat annoying in 1998 but downright ridiculous in 2012.

    Thankfully all this thing "secures" is a few phone numbers. Still though, this is the dictionary definition of security theatre.



  • YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED IN UNTIL YOU TELL ME THE SECRET PASSWORD WHICH IS 123456



  • @Ben L. said:

    YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED IN UNTIL YOU TELL ME THE SECRET PASSWORD WHICH IS 123456

    Early security theater:
    @ObMarxBrothers said:
    (There's a knock at the door. Baravelli opens up a security door)

    Baravelli: Who are you?

    Professor Wagstaff: I’m fine, thanks. Who are you?

    Baravelli: I’m fine, too, but you can’t come in unless you give the password!

    Wagstaff: Well, what is the password?

    Baravelli: Aw no, you gotta tell me! Hey, I tell what I do I give you three guesses. (Baravelli looks around to see if anyone's watching)

    Baravelli: It’s the name of a fish.

    Wagstaff: Is it Mary?

    Baravelli: Ha! That’s a no fish.

    Wagstaff: She isn’t? Well, she drinks like one! Let me see. Is it Sturgeon?

    Baravelli: Hey, you crazy. A sturgeon, he’s a doctor, cut you open when you sick. Now, I give you more chance.

    Wagstaff: I got it! Haddock!

    Baravelli: That’s a funny! I got a haddock, too!

    Wagstaff: What do you take for a haddock?

    Baravelli: Well, sometimes I take a aspirin, and sometimes I take a calomel.

    Wagstaff: Say, I’d walk a mile for a calomel.

    Baravelli: You mean chocolate calomel, I like that, too, but you no guess it..

    (Baravelli shuts the door on Wagstaff. Wagstaff knocks again)

    Baravelli: ‘ey, whatsamatter, you don’t unnerstand English? You can’t come in here unless you say "Swordfish." Now I give you one more guess.

    Wagstaff: "Swordfish"..."Swordfish"...I think I got it…is it "Swordfish?"

    Baravelli: Ha! That’s it! You guess it!

    (Baravelli opens the door for Wagstaff)

    Wagstaff: Pretty good, huh?

    Baravelli: Fine..you guess it…

    (Wagstaff shakes his hand, runs inside and shuts the door. Baravelli knocks on the door. Wagstaff opens the security door)

    Wagstaff: What do you want?

    Baravelli: I want to come in.

    Wagstaff: What’s the password?

    Baravelli: Oh, you no fool me…"Swordfish."

    Wagstaff: No, I got tired of that. I changed it. (Wagstaff slams the door. Baravelli knocks again.)

    (Wagstaff opens the security door)

    Baravelli: What’s the password now?

    Wagstaff: Gee I forgot it, I better come outside with you…

    (Wagstaff walks outside. The door slams shut. They're locked out. Both begin knocking on the door and kicking it.)



  • @Ben L. said:

    YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED IN UNTIL YOU TELL ME THE SECRET PASSWORD WHICH IS 123456

    No, it's "Ken sent me"



  • It really depends on the purpose of the PIN...

    IF (and this is admittedly a big if) the purpose of the PIN is to protect the "Cloud" backup from access by people who do NOT have the phone. and if the utility showing you the PIN was completely local to the phone; then it is not such a WTF. After all, if they have the phone, they aready have access to the local data!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Master Chief said:

    Then I got to Verizon's backup manager, which for the uninitiated, backs up contacts among other things. We only use it for contacts.

    TRWTF is you not using the built-in backup feature of Android.

    To address your complaint about your PIN, though, it's probably the case that it's an app that reported it back to you, as opposed the phone OS being able to.



  • @FrostCat said:

    TRWTF is you not using the built-in backup feature of Android.

    It was set up by the rep who sold us our Droid 2's back in 2010. I'm one of the "if it works, don't fix it" crowd. And in either case, I have all our contacts on the computer too, in Outlook, and in a dead tree backup drive in the book case.

    @FrostCat said:

    To address your complaint about your PIN, though, it's probably the case that it's an app that reported it back to you, as opposed the phone OS being able to.

    Irrelevant, the App was doing the asking and the reporting. To clarify: I'm not bitching about Android AT ALL, I love it. I'm bitching about Verizon's idea of security.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    It really depends on the purpose of the PIN...

    IF (and this is admittedly a big if) the purpose of the PIN is to protect the "Cloud" backup from access by people who do NOT have the phone. and if the utility showing you the PIN was completely local to the phone; then it is not such a WTF. After all, if they have the phone, they aready have access to the local data!

    The phone was new, there was no local data. This was the restoration process of said data from cloud backup to a new device.


  • Upon further thought, I suppose it's tied to her phone number, and since I had the device using the SIM card with her information, the assumption that I'm a valid user isn't such a big leap as the OP would imply. That said, my new question is then what the actual fuck is the point of a PIN at all?



  • Honestly, I'm mostly surprised you use Verizon, with a Droid Razr, and have a SIM card in it?! How'd you pull that off - unless you're not in the US. Or have a 'world edition' phone, but I don't think Razr has a model like that.

    Did Verizon start using SIM cards again, or are you referring to something else?



  • @boomzilla said:

    Baravelli: Who are you?

    Professor Wagstaff: I’m fine, thanks. Who are you?

    Baravelli: I’m fine, too, but you can’t come in unless you give the password!

    Thank you for making my day.  I remember this scene, but it's been decades since I've seen it.



  • @Jeremy D. Pavleck said:

    Did Verizon start using SIM cards again, or are you referring to something else?

    Why! It's almost as if he's not a pedantic dickweed! But that's not possible... not on TheDailyWTF forums!



  • The PINs are stored in plaintext. If you ever call verizon support (which is pretty good compared to many other companies), the representative will ask you to say your PIN. Hell, when they call you they will ask you for your PIN too...



  • @Jeremy D. Pavleck said:

    Honestly, I'm mostly surprised you use Verizon, with a Droid Razr, and have a SIM card in it?! How'd you pull that off - unless you're not in the US. Or have a 'world edition' phone, but I don't think Razr has a model like that.

    Did Verizon start using SIM cards again, or are you referring to something else?


    I wasn't aware they ever stopped...manual and such call it a SIM card slot.



  • @OhNoDevelopment said:

    The PINs are stored in plaintext. If you ever call verizon support (which is pretty good compared to many other companies), the representative will ask you to say your PIN. Hell, when they call you they will ask you for your PIN too...

    Ah. Didn't know that, I've never had to call support. +1 Informative



  • @Master Chief said:

    @Jeremy D. Pavleck said:
    Honestly, I'm mostly surprised you use Verizon, with a Droid Razr, and have a SIM card in it?! How'd you pull that off - unless you're not in the US. Or have a 'world edition' phone, but I don't think Razr has a model like that.

    Did Verizon start using SIM cards again, or are you referring to something else?


    I wasn't aware they ever stopped...manual and such call it a SIM card slot.

    I think the 4g phones are using SIM cards, in addition to the 3g worldphones. I have a GS3 and it has a sim card.



  • @Master Chief said:

    That said, my new question is then what the actual fuck is the point of a PIN at all?

    Employment creation scheme for support scriptmonkeys.



  • @russ0519 said:

    @Master Chief said:
    @Jeremy D. Pavleck said:
    Honestly, I'm mostly surprised you use Verizon, with a Droid Razr, and have a SIM card in it?! How'd you pull that off - unless you're not in the US. Or have a 'world edition' phone, but I don't think Razr has a model like that.

    Did Verizon start using SIM cards again, or are you referring to something else?


    I wasn't aware they ever stopped...manual and such call it a SIM card slot.

    I think the 4g phones are using SIM cards, in addition to the 3g worldphones. I have a GS3 and it has a sim card.


    My Droid 2 was 3g, and it still had a SIM.


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