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Rethinking passwords to adapt to constrained keyboards

By Markus Jakobsson and Ruj Akavipat


Abstract—We describe and analyze a variant of the traditional password scheme. This is designed to take advantage of standard error-correcting methods of the types used to facilitate text entry on handsets. We call the new approach fastwords to emphasize their primary feature compared to regular passwords. Compared with passwords, fastwords are approximately twice as fast to enter on mobile keyboards, and approximately three times as fast on full-size keyboards. This is supported by user studies reported on herein. Furthermore, these user studies show that fastwords also have considerably greater entropy than passwords, and that their recall rates are dramatically higher than that of passwords and PINs. The new structure permits a memory jogging technique in which a portion of the fastword is revealed to a user who has forgotten it. We show that this results in boosted recall rates, while maintaining a security above that of traditional passwords. We also introduce the notion of equivalence classes – whether based on semantics or pronunciation – and describe uses, including voice-based authentication. The new technology does not need any client-side modification. Keywords-Error correction, handset, mobile, password I

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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