565: Security Question

 Security Question Title text: Let's invite him to a party and play 'I never'. Okay, I never hid any bodies SOUTH of Main Street. ...he's taking a drink!

Explanation

Security questions are sensitive questions that allow a user to retrieve or reset his password if the password is lost or stolen. Because of this powerful function, security questions should be treated just as seriously as passwords. Typical security questions include "What's your mother's maiden name?" or "What's your secondary school?" and are intended to be easy for the user to answer but hard for anyone else to answer.

In this comic, however, the security question is deployed in a strange way, as the question "Where are the bodies buried?" assumes that one had buried bodies, hence had killed someone. The question turns out to be a ploy by the police, who were trying to bait Cueball into confessing his crime, as well as revealing the location of the incriminating evidence.

"I never" is a drinking game that somebody says "I never did something" to the others. If you never did it, you don't need to drink, otherwise, drink. Since he takes a drink for "I never hid any bodies SOUTH of Main Street", the police have narrowed down the search area. The next statement in the game could be "I never hid any bodies WEST of Central Avenue" (or whatever road dividing the area), further localizing the bodies to a quarter of the original search area, in a Twenty Questions manner. Of course, by taking the drink Cueball also admits that he buried bodies, though this evidence would not likely be accepted by any court.

Transcript

[Cueball sits at a computer.]
Computer Screen: -Email Account Setup- To verify your identity, we need to ask you a question nobody else could answer.
Computer Screen: Q: Where are the bodies buried? A:
[A text field is shown with "Behind the" typed.]
[Cueball sits back and thinks.]
[Three stick figures, two wearing police hats and one wearing headphones, watch another computer.]
[The same text field is shown with "Behind the ... nice try." typed.]

Discussion

The explanation says "security questions are treated much more seriously than passwords." I completely disagree. People generally understand that a password should be complicated but just pick something easily memorable for the security question. The security question is often easier to crack as they can be looked up and the user might tell you the answer inadvertently. For example, in Now You See Me, they trick their rich benefactor into giving up his bank account security answers. 108.162.219.7 02:35, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree, and I've changed the explanation text. --Pudder (talk) 11:17, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Also now with social media if you don't have enough privacy settings enabled an attacker can find the answers on say your facebook page, and even if you did have the privacy stuff it won't help if the attacker is on your friend list. 141.101.99.117 19:35, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

“Of course, by taking the drink Cueball also admits having buried bodies at all.” Uh, no, he doesn’t? If he never hid any bodies south of Main Street, it doesn’t imply he hid any bodies anywhere else… right? ~ VoidPhantom (talk) 21:23, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

You have that backwards. If he'd buried bodies north of Main Street (or hadn't buried any at all), then he wouldn't take a drink. --Aaron of Mpls (talk) 22:10, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
I have corrected this back in the explanation. Double negatives confuse people it appears.162.158.72.89 22:24, 26 May 2016 (UTC)