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TV Game Show Contestants Sue Over Trick Computer Password Question

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | about 2 years ago

Security 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Eriq Gardner writes that on the premiere episode of Fox's Million Dollar Money Drop — which ran for 12 episodes from December 2010 to February 2011 — contestants Andrew and Patricia Murray were asked what is the most common computer password: "Password," "123456," or "I Love You." They opted for "Password" and bet all $580,000 they had remaining from the $1 million they started with. The Murrays guessed wrong losing everything. Or did they? After losing the money, the plaintiffs apparently researched the question further and discovered that data-security firm Imperva who provided the answer did not conduct its own, objective survey of computer users. Instead, the assertion that "123456" is the most common password was based on an analysis of a hacking incident involving a website, Rockyou.com. The Murrays say the question should have read, "According to a hacking incident involving the inadvertent leak of user passwords on the website Rockyou.com..." The Murrays still face formidable obstacles in court including a 13-page, take-it-or-leave-it "Contestant Release Agreement" plus a 16-page Million Dollar Money Drop Official Rules. "We have a feeling that 'What's the most common way to beat an iron-clad waiver' will make it onto a law school exam one day," writes Gardner. "According to John Roberts at Ball & Roberts, who is representing the Murrays, the answer is intentional and negligent misrepresentation, breach of written and oral contract, negligence and fraud.""

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