Love and authentication


Jakobsson, M.; Stolterman, E.; Susanne, W.; Yang, L. Love and authentication. Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008); 2008 April 5-10; Florence, Italy. NY: ACM; 2008; 197-200.


Passwords are ubiquitous, and users and service providers alike rely on them for their security. However, good passwords may sometimes be hard to remember. For years, security practitioners have battled with the dilemma of how to authenticate people who have forgotten their passwords. Existing approaches suffer from high false positive and false negative rates, where the former is often due to low entropy or public availability of information, whereas the latter often is due to unclear or changing answers, or ambiguous or fault prone entry of the same. Good security questions should be based on long-lived personal preferences and knowledge, and avoid publicly available information. We show that many of the questions used by online matchmaking services are suitable as security questions. We first describe a new user interface approach suitable to such security questions that is offering a reduced risks of incorrect entry. We then detail the findings of experiments aimed at quantifying the security of our proposed method.

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