Requiring that passwords conform to rules of length, complexity, and unpredictability increases the likelihood of som...

on December 24 at 08:36PM

B and C

I originally chose B for this question, how can I choose C next time? B was attractive because if accounts opened after a certain period of being locked, then one can continue to guess until they get the right combination, but C made total sense on second review because the complexity of passwords made people right it down, which made it easier to find and use by unauthorized people.

1 Reply

Shunhe on December 27 at 06:35PM

Hi @tomgbean,

First, let's note that this is a strengthen question. We need something that supports the overall conclusion of the argument, which we can find in the first sentence of the stimulus: make passwords more complicated actually increases the chance of someone getting unauthorized access to another user's account.

The first premise the author offers is that most people can't guess a password, which presumably decreases the chances of an account being hacked. But the author then offers another premise: users tend to write down more complex passwords, as they are harder to remember. What we need is something that links writing down passwords to accounts being hacked, and this is what (C) gives us. With (C), we can make the following logical chain:

More complicated password requirements - > more complicated passwords - > Higher chance of user writing down password - > Higher chance that someone uses the password to gain unauthorized access to an account, and this is the conclusion we're looking for.

(B), on the other hand, doesn't help us make this link between the writing of passwords and the unauthorized access to accounts. Even if accounts opened after a certain period of being locked, it seems that this would apply equally to passwords with or without complexity requirements. Actually, it might make it more likely that passwords without those requirements are guessed, as they are by nature easier to guess, and we are trying to prove the opposite. Hope this helps!