A short story by Orson Scott Card in his collection Maps in a Mirror. The protagonist specialises in psychological password cracking; by finding out as much as he can about a person, and if necessary meeting them, he can often determine their password. (These are 15-character passwords and the account will be locked if the wrong password is entered three times.) A suggestion I've heard for defeating this type of cracker is to produce a list of 100 passwords by whatever method you like, then use a random number generator to pick one.

A short story by science-fiction author Orson Scott Card. First appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, November 1989. Can be found in the fairly comprehesive collection of Card stories, Maps in a Mirror.

The story is about a couple of criminals-with-hearts-of-gold trying to pull off a electronic break-in in order to steal green cards, which in their futuristic society fetch a hefty sum of money. "Dogwalker" is the name of one of the main characters, his name also being slang for pimp.

Card has this to say about the story:

So, being the perverse and obnoxious child that I am, I challenged myself: Is the derivativeness of cyberpunk the source or a symptom of its emptiness? Is it possible to write a good story that uses all the clichés of cyberpunk? The brain-microchip interface, the faked-up slang, the drugs, the counterculture... Could I, a good Mormon boy who watched the sixties through the wrong end of the binoculars, write a convincing story in that mode -- and also tell a tale that would satisfy me as good fiction? (265)
I guess I liked the story the first time I read it, must have stuck with me at least a little. When I read it again most recently, along with Card's afterword, the story seemed a lot more dorky than I had remembered it, and the slang seemed contrived.

The full text of the story can be found online at:

Card, Orson Scott. Maps in a Mirror. Tor: New York, 1990.

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