Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Future Online Password Could Be a Map

Google Maps image

Clicking on a street name in a map could be one way to establish more secure passwords, a computer scientist says.

Credit: Google Maps

AT&T researcher Bill Cheswick believes maps could serve as passwords for computer users. Cheswick says computer users could memorize a spot on a satellite photo, and the longitude and latitude would serve as the access code. Computer users would zoom down through the map to a high level of resolution.

"The key idea is that you have a data set with very deep data, and you have to drill down," Cheswick says. "You could have a 10-digit latitude, and a 10-digit longitude, then you have a 20-digit password." Mouse-tracking programs would be useless because hackers would not know what map the computer user is looking at, and how deeply zoomed in they are.

Cheswick has not conducted any usability tests, but says computer users may need to sacrifice some convenience for security.

View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account