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Graphical Password Authentication PPT


Published on July 25, 2016

Abstract

The most common computer authentication method is to use alphanumerical usernames and passwords. This method has been shown to have significant drawbacks. For example, users tend to pick passwords that can be easily guessed. On the other hand, if a password is hard to guess, then it is often hard to remember. To address this problem, some researchers have developed authentication methods that use pictures as passwords.

Graphical password schemes have been proposed as a possible alternative to text-based schemes, motivated partially by the fact that humans can remember pictures better than text; psychological studies supports such assumption. Pictures are generally easier to be remembered or recognized than text. In addition, if the number of possible pictures is sufficiently large, the possible password space of a graphical password scheme may exceed that of text-based schemes and thus presumably offer better resistance to dictionary attacks. Because of these advantages, there is a growing interest in graphical password. In addition to workstation and web log-in applications, graphical passwords have also been applied to ATM machines and mobile devices.

Graphical Password Authentication

Recognition Based Techniques

Dhamija and Perrig proposed a graphical authentication scheme based on the HashVisualization technique . In their system, the user is asked to select a certain number of images from a set of random pictures generated by a program . Later, the user will be required to identify the pre selected images in order to be authenticated. The results showed that 90% of all participants succeeded in the authentication using this technique, while only 70% succeeded using text-based passwords and PINS. The average log-in time, however, is longer than the traditional approach. A weakness of this system is that the server needs to store the seeds of the portfolio images of each user in plain text. Also, the process of selecting a set of pictures from the picture database can be tedious and time consuming for the user.

Random images used by Dhamija and Perrig

Graphical Password Authentication

Sobrado and Birget developed a graphical password technique that deals with the shoulder-surfing problem. In the first scheme, the system will display a number of pass-objects (pre-selected by user) among many other objects. To be authenticated, a user needs to recognize pass-objects and click inside the convex hull formed by all the pass-objects.In order to make the password hard to guess, Sobrado and Birget suggested using 1000 objects, which makes the display very crowded and the objects almost indistinguishable, but using fewer objects may lead to a smaller password space, since the resulting convex hull can be large. In their second algorithm, a user moves a frame (and the objects within it) until the pass object on the frame lines up with the other two pass-objects. The authors also suggest repeating the process a few more times to minimize the likelihood of logging in by randomly clicking or rotating. The main drawback of these algorithms is that the log in process can be slow.

During the authentication, the user must enter the registered images in the correct sequence. One drawback of this technique is that since the number of thumb nail images is limited to 30, the password space is small. Each thumbnail image is assigned a numerical value, and the sequence of selection will generate a numerical password. The result showed that the image sequence length was generally shorter than the textural password length. To address this problem, two pictures can be combined to compose a new alphabet element, thus expanding the image alphabet size.

Very little research has been done to study the difficulty of cracking graphical passwords. Because graphical passwords are not widely used in practice, there is no report on real cases of breaking graphical passwords. Here we briefly exam some of the possible techniques for breaking graphical passwords and try to do a comparison with text-based passwords.

The main defense against brute force search is to have a sufficiently large password space. Text-based passwords have a password space of 94^N, where N is the length of the password, 94 is the number of Printable characters excluding SPACE. Some graphical password techniques have been shown to provide a password space similar to or larger than that of text-based passwords. Recognition based graphical passwords tend to have smaller password spaces than the recall based methods. It is more difficult to carry out a brute force attack against graphical passwords than text-based passwords.

Block diagram for the New Technique

Is a graphical password as secure as text-based password?

Very little research has been done to study the difficulty of cracking graphical passwords. Because graphical passwords are not widely used in practice, there is no report on real cases of breaking graphical passwords. Here we briefly exam some of the possible techniques for breaking graphical passwords and try to do a comparison with text-based passwords.
Brute force search

The main defense against brute force search is to have a sufficiently large password space. Text-based passwords have a password space of 94^N, where N is the length of the password, 94 is the number of Printable characters excluding SPACE. Some graphical password techniques have been shown to provide a password space similar to or larger than that of text-based passwords. Recognition based graphical passwords tend to have smaller password spaces than the recall based methods.

It is more difficult to carry out a brute force attack against graphical passwords than text-based passwords. The attack programs need to automatically generate accurate mouse motion to imitate human input, which is particularly difficult for recall based graphical passwords. Overall, we believe a graphical password is less vulnerable to brute force attacks than a text-based password.
Dictionary attacks

Since recognition based graphical passwords involve mouse input instead of keyboard input, it will be impractical to carry out dictionary attacks against this type of graphical passwords. For some recall basedgraphical passwords it is possible to use a dictionary attack but an automated dictionary attack will be much more complex than a text based dictionary attack. More research is needed in this area. Overall, we believe graphical passwords are less vulnerable to dictionary attacks than text-based passwords.

Guessing

Unfortunately, it seems that graphical passwords are often predictable, a serious problem typically associated with text-based passwords. For example, studies on the Passface technique have shown that people often choose weak and predictable graphical passwords. Nali and Thorpe’s study revealed similar predictability among the graphical passwords created with the DAS technique . More research efforts are needed to understand the nature of graphical passwords created by real world users.

Shoulder surfing

Like text based passwords, most of the graphical passwords are vulnerable to shoulder surfing. At this point, only a few recognition-based techniques are designed to resist shoulder-surfing . None of the recall-based based techniques are considered should-surfing resistant.

Conclusion:

The past decade has seen a growing interest in using graphical passwords as an alternative to the traditional text-based passwords. In this paper, we have conducted a comprehensive survey of existing graphical password techniques. The current graphicalpassword techniques can be classified into two categories: recognition-based and recall-based techniques..

Although the main argument for graphical passwords is that people are better at memorizing graphical passwords than text-based passwords, the existing user studies are very limited and there is not yet convincing evidence to support this argument. Our preliminary analysis suggests that it is more difficult to break graphical passwords using the traditional attack methods such as brute force search, dictionary attack,or spyware. However, since there is not yet wide deployment of graphical password systems, the vulnerabilities of graphical passwords are still not fully understood.

Overall, the current graphical password techniques are still immature. Much more research and user studies are needed for graphical password techniques to achieve higher levels of maturity and usefulness.












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