In June 2012, a hacker uploaded 6,458,020 hashed passwords (just the passwords, not the associated usernames) to a Russian hacker forum. The source? LinkedIn. The massive list quickly spread online and became an embarrassment for LinkedIn and a joke for the Internet as some of the passwords were pretty ‘weak’ (see here and here for samples).
German artist Aram Bartholl, whose describes his work as ‘an interplay between internet, culture and reality’, also obtained the list and decided to print 4.7 million of the leaked passwords in alphabetical order in eight, 800-page hardcover books each measuring 21 x 27 cm.
The printed books were exhibited at Carroll / Fletcher in London (23 April – 11 May 2013) and Kasseler Kunstverein in Kassel, Germany (Sept – Oct 2013). Visitors were free to peruse the books to see if their LinkedIn password had been compromised. The eight volumes will be on display next at Unpainted in Munich, from January 17-20, 2014.
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