Strong passwords are a must today. Not only must they be difficult to guess but resistant to automated attacks.
Manually generating strong passwords is both tedious and subject to human tendencies to use familiar words or phrases. This tends to make them easier to guess — the names of children, pets, schools, important dates, etc. We know we shouldn’t do it but we do anyway. It is also better to make sure that your passwords are as long as they can be. The longer the password is the less likely it will be guessed or cracked.
passRD is an OSX application that provides a convenient and quick way to generate truly strong passwords. It will generate random passwords ranging in length from 12 to 40 characters. The character set is selectable (from alpha, numeric and special characters). A filter is included which will exclude "confusers" (confusing characters like "1" and "L"). It can also generate Diceware passphrases using from 1 to 10 words taken from one of the two standard Diceware wordlists. The app is lightweight and is meant to remain ready in the menubar for whenever you might need a new password. When clicked it will display a single compact view for selecting your options and generating new passwords. Any selections that you make are remembered when the application shuts down and are restored when run again.
Random passwords are generated by randomly picking the appropriate number of characters from the selected character sets. Duplicate characters are automatically replaced. No word lists are used in this process so the passwords are not subject to dictionary attacks. Any generated password can be edited by the user before use. When a password has been generated the Copy button becomes enabled. When the Copy button is clicked the password is copied to the system clipboard. It can be pasted in the normal way. As a safety measure, if the password is still in the clipboard when the app exits, the clipboard is cleared. It is recommended that passwords being used for real-world accounts be as long as possible (at least 16 characters).
passRD also provides Diceware passphrases. Passphrases can be easier to remember than random passwords (which are not). They are generated by randomly picking a number of words from a Diceware wordlist and concatenating them to form a relatively long passphrase. These passphrases can be cryptographically quite strong as long as enough words from the lists are used (at least 6). The Diceware wordlist contains 7776 words and characters providing an immense number of possible combinations. The number of words used in the generated passphrase is selectable from 1 to 10. You can select either the standard Diceware word list or the alternate Beale wordlist. For safety it is recommended that a minimum of 6 words be used for passphrases meant for use in any real-world applications. As with passwords, the generated passphrase can be edited and copied and pasted using the system clipboard.
There are a number of security-related features. A password or passphrase can be copied and pasted to/from the system clipboard but will be cleared when passRD exits. The generated passwords and passphrases are not saved anywhere else (passRD is not a password manager or password vault). Additionally, when the app window is minimized to the menubar, any generated passwords and passphrases are automatically cleared after 30 seconds. (You don't want someone coming back later and finding the last password you generated).
The Diceware passphrase generation technique was developed by Arnold G. Reinhold. More information can be found at: