On the Security of Picture Gesture Authentication
Author(s): Ziming Zhao, Gail-Joon Ahn, Jeon-Jin Seo, Hongxin Hu

Date: August 2013
Publication: Proceedings of the 22nd USENIX Security Symposium, Security '13
Page(s): 383 - 398
Publisher: USENIX
Source 1: https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/usenixsecurity13/sec13-paper_zhao.pdf
Source 2: http://www.cis.desu.edu/~hhu/papers/USENIX2013.pdf

Abstract or Summary:
Computing devices with touch-screens have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. Such an evolutionary advance has been facilitated by various applications that are heavily relying on multi-touch gestures. In addition, picture gesture authentication has been recently introduced as an alternative login experience to text-based password on such devices. In particular, the new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system adopts such an alternative authentication to complement traditional text-based authentication. In this paper, we present an empirical analysis of picture gesture authentication on more than 10,000 picture passwords collected from over 800 subjects through online user studies. Based on the findings of our user studies, we also propose a novel attack framework that is capable of cracking passwords on previously unseen pictures in a picture gesture authentication system. Our approach is based on the concept of selection function that models users’ password selection processes. Our evaluation results show the proposed approach could crack a considerable portion of collected picture passwords under different settings.

PasswordResearch.com Note: Video of talk at USENIX conference here: https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity13/security-picture-gesture-authentication

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