Writing for Business

Dec 13 2010   1:50PM GMT

Did gummy bears breach security or breech it?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
When schools implemented fingerprint scanners for sign-ins, media reported that students could exploit gummy bears to ______ system security.
a. breach
b. breech

Answer: a.


A breach is a break, in this context — note the similar spelling. Breeches, as we’ve noted before, are pants.

This post is based on an odd but true story: After some Australian schools installed fingerprint scanners, ZDNet Australia and other media reported that students could breach the devices’ security by impressing their fingerprints into gummy bears and then getting pals to sign them in by sticking the candies over their own fingers. As Bruce Shneier suggested, it would be easy enough to destroy the evidence — just eat it.

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