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Improving security and usability of passphrases with guided word choice

Abstract : Passphrases have many uses, such as serving as seeds for passwords. User-created passphrases are easier to remember, but tend to be less secure than ones created from words randomly chosen in a dictionary. This paper develops a way of making more memorable, more secure passphrases. It investigates the security and usability of creating a passphrase by choosing from a randomly generated set of words presented as a two-dimensional array. A usability experiment shows that participants using this method achieved 97% to 99% of the maximal theoretical entropy and commited fewer than half as many memory mistakes as a control group with assigned passphrases. It also shows that their choices are affected by word familiarity and weakly by the word’s position in the array. Prompting a person with random words from a large dictionary is an effective way of helping them make a more memorable high-entropy passphrase.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01781233
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Submitted on : Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 10:44:55 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 6, 2022 - 1:27:13 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, October 1, 2018 - 2:36:55 AM

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Nicolas Blanchard, Clément Malaingre, Ted Selker. Improving security and usability of passphrases with guided word choice. Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), Dec 2018, San Juan, Puerto Rico. ⟨10.1145/3274694.3274734⟩. ⟨hal-01781233⟩

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