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Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:17:44 +0000
From: Marsh Ray <>
To: "' ('" <>
Subject: CJK character sets

Certain Asian "CJK" regions use character sets that are quite large. For example, in Japan college-entry level literacy includes over 2000 characters. PRC China officially uses a 'simplified' character set having 3500 and 7000 'frequently' and 'commonly' used characters. My understanding is that most of these characters represent semantic units similar to words.

Having fluency in an alphabet orders of magnitude larger than our tiny Western alphabets surely changes the password strength problem. I would expect that it would make it easier to create and remember strong entropy. A short 8-character password in a Western script could perhaps be more like a pass phrase in Chinese-based script.

Is there any available research on the entropy of passwords in typical use in these regions?

Do these regions present any special considerations (other than proper encoding) for the PHC?

-          Marsh

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