A visual dictionary attack on Picture Passwords

Amir Sadovnik, Tsuhan Chen
2013 2013 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing  
Microsoft's Picture Password provides a method to authenticate a user without the need of typing a character based password. The password consists of a set of gestures drawn on an image. The position, direction and order of these gestures constitute the password. Besides being more convenient to use on touch screen devices, this authentication method promises improved memorability in addition to improving the password strength against guessing attacks. However, how unpredictable is the picture
more » ... ble is the picture password? In this paper we exploit the fact that different users are drawn to similar image regions, and therefore these passwords are vulnerable to guessing attacks. More specifically, we show that for portrait pictures users are strongly drawn to use facial features as gesture locations. We collect a set of Picture Passwords and, using computer vision techniques, derive a list of password guesses in decreasing probability order. We show that guessing in this order we are able to improve the likelihood of cracking a password within a limited number of guesses.
doi:10.1109/icip.2013.6738916 dblp:conf/icip/SadovnikC13 fatcat:t3mnprowfrhyzghknbjut73u4q