Sony has a line of laptops ("Vaio") which compete mainly in the high value market segments. They implemented a master password bypass which is rather sane in comparison to the rest of the bunch:
- The randomly generated master password is only stored in RAM, e.g. it's lost after the next reboot ("one time password").
- RSA is used for encrypting the password which is then converted to a human-readable form (4x4 characters/8 bytes/64 bits).
- Their customer support apparently allows for one free password generation per device which is pretty decent by the industry standard.
Master Password Generator for Sony laptops (16 characters otp)
Copyright (C) 2009-2010 dogbert
After entering the wrong password for the third time, you will receive a code from which the password can be calculated,
Please enter the code:
The password is: 43878945
I'm not the first one who discovered this: hpgl also reversed this scheme quite a while back. There are even some idiots on eBay who sell these master passwords.
Update: released here