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June 16, 2016

Speaker: Brent MacRae, MSc candidate

Title: Strategies and Applications for Creating More Memorable Passwords

Abstract: As we continue to learn and grow in an ever evolving technological age, we deepen our understanding of the importance of authentication. There are many different types of authentication, each exhibiting their own strengths and weaknesses. Each authentication mechanism serves the same purpose: to verify a user's identity. This seminar details two authentication schemes: one aimed at creating a secure, memorable token, and the other aimed at strengthening a previous token (known as a password strengthening technique). The first is GeoPassNotes, a geographic location-based authentication scheme. GeoPassNotes requires users to select a location on a digital map and then annotate it in order to authenticate. The combination of the location and the annotation is the authentication token. GeoPassNotes allows users to select a location that is tied to a significant event/memory, which is very memorable to that person. The other system we design and explore is PassMod, a system designed to help users create more secure versions of their password. This system separates itself from other password strengthening techniques because it interprets and attempts to preserve the original meaning behind the user's password. We demonstrate that it is possible to create a more secure password without compromising the memorability of the original password. Both GeoPassNotes and PassMod help users produce a more secure, yet memorable authentication token.