This WaMu Confirmation Number Has A Potty Mouth


I logged online to check my Wamu account tonight and I was surprised by the profanity in the “confirmation number” field.

Highly amusing, don’t you think?


There is a ghost in the machine. Kill it. Skynet. Help. It’s learning at a geometric rate.


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  1. snazz says:

    hehe, you said ‘potty’

  2. Mariallena says:

    Ha ha!

    We (big financial company) use 5 numbers followed by 5 letters as Order numbers, but we avoid vowels altogether because we don’t want something like that to happen.

    It’s pretty hard to come up with a swear word made entirely of consonants!

  3. LorneReams says:

    The thing that sucks about this is some coder is going to get a pain-in-the-ass assignment of making sure the random confirmation number generator doesn’t do that.

  4. ClayS says:

    It will be a fun assignment. They will need to develop a list of unacceptable letter combinations.

  5. Myotheralt says:

    @LorneReams: All they need is a search string for “xxxx”

  6. HalOfBorg says:

    Or just remove the vowels like Mariallena said.

    Sounds like the simplest solution. The ENTIRE world should do this…. just think, no more “Is that an ‘Oh’ or a ‘Zero’ in that number?????”

    Then we’d just invent new swear words……….

    Fck Frk Tnj……

  7. Opie says:

    When I worked for a CE company that OEM’d spell checkers, translators, etc we had a “dirty word” list that every product was checked against. Had to increase the scope of the list to also include “non PC” words the first time we found the “N” word in a translator.

    Ah, I long for the days when there were only 7 words you couldn’t include in account verification numbers.

  8. kpfeif says:

    I might work somewhere that creates correspondence to send to customers. We have logic in place to search for specific strings within names/addresses if we have to shorted either for some reason. For instance, if the name of some guy is:

    Jacobhammer Rockerhammdyke

    …we may have to chop off part of the last/first name to fit on the envelope. We look for certain strings in the resulting name/address to prevent this.

    It’s funny to look at the source code, as it’s apparent those strings have been added over a span of time…undoubtedly when somebody complained.

  9. HalOfBorg says:

    Where did my post go?? Were my ‘non-vowel’ cuss words filtered???? :) :)

  10. HalOfBorg says:

    oops – now they are back.

  11. Ghede says:

    @Mariallena: FVCK!

    Ah, the pattern recognition ability of humans is astounding. I bet you understood that. I was originally going to swear in 1337, but you mentioned the numbers and the letters were seperate.

    I once found a CD-Key that said …347-5H17… I laughed.

  12. thesabre says:


    True, you can eliminate vowels altogether. But “mthrfckng ccksckr” is just as funny.

  13. arniec says:

    I was in a similar situation when coming up with a list of forbidden passwords for a workplace system. I started with the “7 bigs” and then decided to string it out to include these foul words. But in doing so I created a list of foul words that was copied to every database. I feel bad, I should have told my replacement about it because they may stumble upon this trove of profanity and wonder what the heck I was doing. I was always afraid of getting in trouble for even typing the C-word at work…

  14. remember the days of 10+1 digit calculators and entering 55318008, 58008, .1134

    those were the carefree days

  15. forgottenpassword says:

    outrageous!!!!!! DEMAND an apology (and free stuff)!

  16. ViperBorg says:

    Nothing is sacred with WAMU. First abuse of customers, now outright having their computers swear at them? What next?! :P

  17. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Ah, the joys of randomness! The odds are 1 out of 456,976.

  18. LorneReams says:

    That should be easy after they get the assignment.

  19. We sure this isn’t Spitzer’s account, confiming what he was paying for?

  20. Blackneto says:

    I needed a local admin account a few nights ago at work.
    these are privleged accounts that are only activated upon request to a select number of technicians.
    they are randomly generated.
    right in the middle of the 16 char string was the word “Fu(k”

  21. theblackdog says:

    @Ghede: I don’t get it

  22. picshereplz says:

    Wow, this is pretty inane.

  23. DrGirlfriend says:

    I would have printed that off and framed it for posterity.

  24. orielbean says:

    vowels are also bad b/c zero looks like “O”

  25. jchabotte says:

    I had a receipt that once had “whitey” on it.. I can has fame two?

  26. The Porkchop Express says:

    @thesabre: you’re wrong. It’s funnier, it reads as more urgent.

  27. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    to the OP:

    You seemed more amused than offended. Which is good. I know companies do dumb things all the time, but sometimes we as customers/consumers have to learn to laugh things off now and then.

  28. Redwraithvienna says:

    There was a story in the german Bild newspaper last week or so that someone was highly offended when a captcha test asked him to put “wHitler” in the confirmation field…. it can happen :) its just very unlikley

  29. Orv says:

    @orielbean: Car VIN codes don’t use I, O, or Q for exactly that reason.

  30. framitz says:

    Profanity is in the eye of the beholder. I see a random sequence of 4 letters.

    get over it.

  31. NoWin says:
  32. Mr. Gunn says:

    Ghede: Oh yea, well you can 347 My 455.

  33. justdan says:

    It’s not a random coincidence, but an order to the WaMu employees to breed!

  34. sam1am says:

    We once dealt with a similar situation. Our company considered creating a black list of words that could not be used in generating customer IDs. We did some quick calculations on the possibilities of a dirty word coming up and considering the chances of someone actually paying attention to it, we decided not to build in a black list.

    Searching through the customer database for four letter words was amusing, though.

  35. cde says:

    Uhhh, get the fuck over it, you sensitive fuck?

  36. mammalpants says:

    i heard they were changing their name from WAMU to EFFU.

  37. dijkstramatic says:

    This story reminded me of something:
    I found a hard drive once that had the phrase “CRACKWHORE” in it’s serial number.

  38. pfeng says:

    @ConsumerAdvocacy1010: true… at least this didn’t get to somebody oversensitive who was sure the bank was out to get him/her :)

  39. thisisjacked says:

    this made my day.

  40. Klink says:

    Let’s see here…
    It was a one in 456976 chance that the letter portion would have that word, unless they factor in the numbers or whatever else is in that code…

  41. Klink says:

    @someguy805: Are you sure it was data in that drive?

  42. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @myotheralt: I am unaware of the profanity-related background of the word ‘xxxx’
    @Ghede: Ahh, Latin. Well FVCK THOV TOO :) …50N 04 4 317CH!!
    @arniec: Which “C-word”? Cranberries?
    @BayStateDarren: Spitzer? Good thing I didn’t have a mouthful of milk (it would have come out of my nose).
    @sam1am: A black list? What about when you print in other colors?

    I would like to thank all of the above mentioned and not mentioned for the laugh of the day.

  43. KleineFrau says:

    While programming a publisher with my boss, we noted that, since we were taking input from the public, which would be published in the final version, we would have to do some sort of profanity filtering.

    Now, this was prior to our company going corporate and needing to protect against mild sexual harassment.

    My boss, a genuine gentlemen, looked at me, and told me to leave his desk while he did this, because a lady shouldn’t hear such words. And no, he was not trying to flirt.

    What a good guy.

  44. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @Mariallena: “It’s pretty hard to come up with swear words made entirely of consonants!”

    Dude, what the fck are you talking about? This sht happens all the gddmmnd time, and I can’t fckng stand it!

    He he he. Seriously, these numbers are randomly generated by computer. It’s simply a coincidence.

  45. Ghede says:

    I say we go one step further. Introducing the Swear-o-matic key generator! Randomly assigning the letter of a 4 letter word in their correct place for every segment.
    For Example: FHIT-SHCK-FHIN-DHMN
    Your chances of an actual swear are increased!

  46. Ghede says:

    @Ghede: … Why did I use H as the second letter every time? That is odd. The noggin must be acting weird. Think I’ll go to bed now.

  47. OneBadApple says:

    We call it a “smut list”.

    Definitely necessary when customers are signing in their names to be served, and a list of names displays on a 46 inch monitor…

  48. visualbowler says:

    @thesabre: that made my night

  49. Michael Belisle says:

    @discounteggroll: Yeah. I think I was in 2nd grade.
    @OneBadApple: Home Depot apparently needs one of those too.

  50. MyEasyTV says:

    Freak occurence.

  51. adkap says:

    @The Great Aussie Evil

    Actually the odds are 1 in 1.6 million chance for any 4 letter curse. You didn’t include the probability that a number would occur (confirmation numbers are usually A-Z0-9)

    Likely several people are cursed at every day but don’t notice :)

  52. Zenshai says:

    Please do us a favor and call them about this transfer. Repeat & Spell the confirmation number a few times and see what they say.

  53. RichardMcBeef says:

    I see that you used drop shadows on your black censor bars. Clearly you’re not a working graphic designer, or else you would have used a mirrored surface.


  54. Atrix256 says:

    Crackers must love companies that do profanity filters on randomly generated security codes.

    It sure makes brute forcing a lot easier (;