Hash Visualization: A New Technique to Improve Real-World Security
Author(s): Adrian Perrig, Dawn Song

Date: 1999
Publication: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Cryptographic Techniques and E-Commerce (CrypTEC '99)
Page(s): 131 - 138
Source 1: http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/perrig99hash.html

Current security systems suffer from the fact that they fail to account for human factors. This paper considers two human limitations: First, people are slow and unreliable when comparing meaningless strings; and second, people have difficulties in remembering strong passwords or PINs. We identify two applications where these human factors negatively affect security: Validation of root keys in public-key infrastructures, and user authentication. Our approach to improve the security of these systems is to use hash visualization, a technique which replaces meaningless strings with structured images. We examine the requirements of such a system and propose the prototypical solution Random Art . We also show how to apply hash visualization to improve the real-world security of root key validation and user authentication.

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