Learning System-assigned Passwords: A Preliminary Study on the People with Learning Disabilities


Sonali Tukaram Marne, University of Texas at Arlington; Mahdi Nasrullah Al-Ameen, Clemson University; Matthew Wright, Rochester Institute of Technology


With an increase in cyber attacks, including online password guessing attacks, system-assigned password schemes are studied as alternatives to traditional user-chosen textual passwords. While people with learning disabilities face difficulty in memorizing new information, it is not clear yet if system-assigned passwords would be usable for them. We begin to address this gap with this preliminary study, where we leveraged a recently-proposed graphical authentication scheme that offers multiple cues (visual, verbal, spatial, audio) to memorize system-assigned random passwords. In our single-session study with 14 participants having different types of learning disabilities, all of them could effectively learn system-assigned passwords, and were able to successfully log in using that authentication secret within just one attempt. Based on our findings, we outline the directions for future research in evaluating the authentication performance of people with learning disabilities.

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@inproceedings {205675,
title = {Learning System-assigned Passwords: A Preliminary Study on the People with Learning Disabilities},
booktitle = {Thirteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2017)},
year = {2017},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2017/workshop-program/wips2017/marne},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul