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USENIX Technical Program - Abstract - Security Symposium 99

The Design and Analysis of Graphical Passwords

Ian Jermyn, New York University; Alain Mayer, Fabian Monrose, Michael K. Reiter, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies; and Aviel D. Rubin, AT&T Labs--Research


In this paper we propose and evaluate new graphical password schemes that exploit features of graphical input displays to achieve better security than text-based passwords. Graphical input devices enable the user to decouple the position of inputs from the temporal order in which those inputs occur, and we show that this decoupling can be used to generate password schemes with substantially larger (memorable) password spaces. In order to evaluate the security of one of our schemes, we devise a novel way to capture a subset of the ``memorable'' passwords that, we believe, is itself a contribution. In this work we are primarily motivated by devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) that offer graphical input capabilities via a stylus, and we describe our prototype implementation of one of our password schemes on such a PDA, namely the Palm PilotTM.
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Last changed: 26 Feb 2002 ml
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