From UTech: CWRU Login Now Requires Passphrase

On June 15, CWRU user login requirements were changed to promote stronger security and improve usability. This change requires users to convert passwords associated with their network ID (abc123) to passphrases. Passphrases are an improvement over passwords because they are more difficult to brute-force guess while also remaining easy to remember. This is a reminder that if you have not already done so, your password must be updated to a passphrase by January 18, 2021. Users can make this update today.

What’s happening?

  • Minimum required character length will increase from eight characters to 12.
  • Passphrases can contain words and spaces (e.g. "correct horse battery staple").
  • Complexity of a passphrase will be calculated by a meter while the user creates it.
  • To ensure strong passphrases, minimum complexity is required, indicated by a "green" score on the passphrase meter.
  • Once a password is converted to a passphrase, users enrolled in CWRU Duo Security two-factor authentication system will no longer need to change their login passphrases annually.

When is it happening?

  • This passphrase change was implemented June 15.
  • All passwords must be converted to passphrases by Jan. 18. Passwords that are not converted to passphrases by Jan. 18 will expire.
  • Users can convert to passphrases anytime before Jan. 18 and are encouraged to do so sooner rather than later.

How does this affect me?

  • When CWRU account credentials need to be changed, they will be required to meet the updated passphrase criteria.
  • All users, faculty, staff, students, alumni and affiliate users must change their passwords to passphrases before Jan. 18.
  • For users, such as alumni, who are not normally required to change their passphrase annually, this will be a one-time change to convert from a password to a passphrase.
  • Any user who has changed their password after June 15, has already converted to a passphrase and will not be affected by the Jan. 18 deadline.

What should I do?

  • Get ahead of the deadline and update your password to a passphrase today.
  • Be aware and prepared to create a passphrase when it’s time to reset your CWRU credentials in the future.

Learn more about passphrases.

For assistance with any technology product or service at Case Western Reserve University, contact the University Technology Service Desk at, 216.368.HELP (4357) or visit