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    Evaluating the usability and security of a graphical one-time PIN system

    People and Computers XXIV Games are a Serious Business

    Proceedings of HCI 2010
    The 24th British HCI Group Annual Conference
    University of Abertay, Dundee, UK

    6 - 10 September 2010


    Sacha Brostoff, Philip Inglesant and Angela Sasse


    Traditional Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) are widely used, but the attacks in which they are captured have been increasing. One-time PINs offer better security, but potentially create greater workload for users. In this paper, we present an independent evaluation of a commercial system that makes PINs more resistant to observation attacks by using graphical passwords on a grid to generate a one-time PIN. 83 participants were asked to register with the system and log in at varying intervals. The successful login rate was approximately 91% after 3-4 days, and 97% after 9-10 days. Twenty five participants were retested after two years, and 27% of those were able to recall their pattern. We recorded 17 instances of failed attempts, and found that even though participants recalled the general shape of the pass-pattern in 13 of these instances, they could not recall its detailed location or sequence of cells. We conclude that GrIDsure is usable if people have one pass-pattern, but the level of security will depend on the context of use (it will work best in scenarios where repeated observations of transactions are unlikely), and the instructions given to users (without guidance, they are likely to chose from a small subset of the possible patterns which are easily guessed).


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