Solved Compare two columns of data on Excel 2010

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October 31, 2011 at 12:16:50
Specs: Windows 7
I've like to know how to compare to columns in Excel, and have it flag the ones that have more than two characters in a row the same. Some background:

We have 13,500 students that we've created Novell logins for. We are moving to AD, with which we've implemented complex passwords. Our student usernames in AD will be s0<student ID>, so s012345 for example. For the passwords in Novell, we've used "st<reverse of student ID>", so st54321. AD's default password policy only allows two consecutive characters to exist in the password in the same order as the username. So for a student with an ID of 13335, and an AD login of s013335, a password of ST53331 will not pass the password policy.


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October 31, 2011 at 13:19:14
I'm a bit confused.

Why do you need to compare 2 columns? Don't you only need to check the ID?

If everything is based on the ID, isn't that the only thing you need to check for 3+ sequential, matching characters.

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October 31, 2011 at 13:41:00
No. Maybe I used a bad example. Say we have a student ID of s014345, for which we would give a Novell password of st54341. So in this case the sequence of "434" is the same backwards and forwards, and would fail the AD password policy. So it's not just same numbers, but sequences of numbers that is causing a problem for us.

Thanks for your response though.

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October 31, 2011 at 16:58:33
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So it's not just same numbers, but sequences of numbers that is causing a problem for us

What you are looking for are called Palindromic numbers.

There are 100, three digit, palindromic numbers from

So in a 5 digit password, you have the possibility of three palindromic numbers appearing.
It may be possible to create some type of checking solution, but I think you will have problems none the less.

You will have a password policy that will need to be remembered, and.
you will have a password exception policy that will need to be remembered.

On top of that, the students will figure out your password policy within about 2 days and then you will never know who is logging in as who.
Once they know all you need do is reverse someones ID to obtain their password,
you have lost all control.

You might want to re-think what your doing.


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October 31, 2011 at 17:05:48
Well, any solution that would have worked for the 333 example most likely wouldn't have work for the 434 example, so I'll agree that your first example wasn't a very good one. ;-)

That said, I still don't see why you are asking how to compare 2 coulmns. As I said earlier, if the base ID is the root of the both login ID and the 'reversed' password, then if we can find a way to highlight any ID that has the offending sequence (333, 242, 111, 787, etc) then don't we know that once a password is created from that ID it is going to fail?

If I'm not correct, then give me some examples of data in the 2 columns that you think need to be compared to each other. So far, the only thing that you have provided is some stand alone examples of ID's that won't work. What is it that you want these ID's compared to?

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November 7, 2011 at 16:50:58
DerbyDad03 - The two columns of numbers which I referenced in my original post are student ID and password.

Thank you mcconaghy. You're absolutely right - the policy sucks. And I've finally convinced my manager of that as well. It was a policy he came up with to provide access to students in a pinch whilst we migrate to AD. The new domain passwords will be strong passwords that pass the default AD password policy.

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November 7, 2011 at 17:31:02
Glad to hear you convinced your manager it was a bad idea.


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