Forgotten passwords are a serious problem for both IT managers and users.
The root of the problem is a trade-off between memorability and security: simple passwords are easy to remember but easy to crack; complex passwords are hard to crack but hard to remember. A newly proposed alternative based on the psychology of face recognition was announced today. Dubbed ‘Facelock’, it could put an end to forgotten passwords, and protect users from prying eyes.
Decades of psychological research has revealed a fundamental difference in the recognition of familiar and unfamiliar faces. Humans can recognize familiar faces across a wide range of images, even when their image quality is poor. In contrast, recognition of unfamiliar faces is tied to a specific image—so much so that different photos of the same unfamiliar face are often thought to be different people. Facelock exploits this psychological effect to create a new type of authentication system whose details were published today in the open-access journal PeerJ.
Familiarity with a particular face determines a person’s ability to identify it across different photographs and as a result a set of faces that are known only to a single individual can be used to create a personalized ‘lock’. Access is then granted to anyone who demonstrates recognition of the faces across images, and denied to anyone who does not.
The Latest on: Password alternative
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The Latest on: Password alternative
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