"Ten Strikes and You're Out": Increasing the Number of Login Attempts Can Improve Password Usability
Author(s): Sacha Brostoff, Martina Angela Sasse


Abstract or Summary:
Many users today are struggling to manage an increasing number of passwords. As a consequence, many organizations face an increasing demand on an expensive resource – the system administrators or help desks. This paper suggests that re-considering the “3- strikes” policy commonly applied to password login systems would be an immediate way of reducing this demand. We analyzed 10 weeks worth of system logs from a sample of 386 users, whose login attempts were not restricted in the usual manner. During that period, only 10% of login attempts failed. We predict that requests for password reminders could be reduced by up to 44% by increasing the number of strikes from 3 to ten.



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