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SOLUTION: Re: "mekmitasdigoat" - mindless trivia request
My, what a fun little diversion this turned out to be. Research notes
and literature search are appended, but the answer is provided by Dan
Harkins, who was instrumental in bringing the term into common usage:
It's from a menu for a Jamaican restaurant in Cary, NC (although
the locals said, "You're not in North Carolina, you're in Cary.")
The menu had helpful "Jamaican" phrases with their English
equivalents and "I would like to try the goat please" was
"mekmitasdigoat". It should be parsed something along the lines
of mek mi tas di goat. Say "ya mahn" (Peter Tosh style) about 10
times and then try "mekmitasdigoat".
We were attending the IPsec bakeoff sponsored by Cisco and that
phrase became the pre-shared key for use in interoperability
testing at the bakeoff and then it just stuck. It was canonized in
the draft for use throughout the entire Internet for useful things
like scaling authentication schemes to millions of users without
that nasty trouble of having to actually have a certified public
key. It's also useful for taking the human bottleneck out of
certificate issuance! It's a hammer for every nail!
mekmitasdigoat appears in:
ISAKMP AND IKE
Last updated November 27th, 1998
Oy L M Ericsson Ab Finland
Piper, D., Harkins, D., "The Pre-shared Key for the Internet Protocol",
< http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-ipsec-internet-key-00.txt >
Piper, Harkins [Page 2]
INTERNET DRAFT April 1, 1998
All security implementations that include support for pre-shared keys
MUST be capable of supporting the Pre-Shared Key for the Internet.
The pre-shared key for the Internet is 14 octets in length. It is
represented in ASCII as "mekmitasdigoat" without the accompanying
quotation marks. In hexadecimal it is represented as:
0x6d656b6d697461736469676f6174. There MUST NOT be any additional
termination characters (such as a terminating NULL).
There was a call for derivation on the apparent use TIS Labs ipsec mailing
list, dated Tue, 27 Apr 1999 from John Gilmore, but no visible responses
in that thread.
Another use was 1 Jul, 1998, Dan Harkins, posting from Cisco, also notes
an ID_KEY_ID "blob" value of "geukghisohfewh." [ This is believed to
be purely gibberish.]
"mekmitasdigoat" also appears in:
Internet Draft Paul Hoffman
draft-hoffman-ipsec-testing-01.txt VPN Consortium
September 9, 2000 Michael Richardson
Expires in six months Sandelman Software Works
Steps for IPsec Interoperability Testing
And, of course, the OpenBSD FAQ, but that's where this all came in.