It's a hash generated by MySQL using any number of hashing methods. The challenge is not to crack it -- heck, the original string is
accountablecode. No, the challenge is to tell me how it was hashed. MD5? SHA1? Multiple passes? Is there a salt? Go for it. I've even given you clues in the past few columns if you know where to look. If you manage to figure it out, post in the comments (add a comment) and how long it took you to figure it out.
The whole idea of this exercise is to show how painfully simple it is to wrap security around sensitive information in modern programming languages. No developers worth their salt (pun intended) should think otherwise. That we're even having this discussion illustrates the sad fact that there are many people now in software development who should really find other work.
That said, no matter how necessary, I highly doubt that this type of regulation will be enacted in the next decade. The antiregulatory fervor is too pervasive.
I hereby step off the soapbox and return to our regularly scheduled blogging. And when you figure out this week's puzzler, let me know.
This story, "The last word on app dev accountability -- and a reader challenge," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.