Shoulder surfing defence for recall-based graphical passwords

Zakaria, Nur Haryani and Griffiths, David and Brostoff, Sacha and Yan, Jeff (2011) Shoulder surfing defence for recall-based graphical passwords. In: SOUPS 2011 - Proceedings of the 7th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security. ACM, USA. ISBN 9781450309110

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Graphical passwords are often considered prone to shoulder-surfing attacks, where attackers can steal a user's password by peeking over his or her shoulder in the authentication process. In this paper, we explore shoulder surfing defence for recall-based graphical password systems such as Draw-A-Secret and Background Draw-A-Secret, where users doodle their passwords (i.e. secrets) on a drawing grid. We propose three innovative shoulder surfing defence techniques, and conduct two separate controlled laboratory experiments to evaluate both security and usability perspectives of the proposed techniques. One technique was expected to work to some extent theoretically, but it turned out to provide little protection. One technique provided the best overall shoulder surfing defence, but also caused some usability challenges. The other technique achieved reasonable shoulder surfing defence and good usability simultaneously, a good balance which the two other techniques did not achieve. Our results appear to be also relevant to other graphical password systems such as Pass-Go.

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14 Jan 2016 16:06
Last Modified:
09 Feb 2022 07:37