Home News Miscellany New password system means never having to remember one ever again!

New password system means never having to remember one ever again!


Boffins from Stanford University, Northwestern University, and SRI International have come up with a way to stop people from ever divulging their password by simply not remembering them.

The system uses something called “implicit learning” so a user never actually gets told what their password is, but enter it much like the game Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution.

The report, titled Neuroscience Meets Cryptography: Designing Crypto Primitives Secure Against Rubber Hose Attacks, shows how a user can learn a password but would never be able to describe or tell it to someone as you would with normal passwords. The system takes its cue from rubber-hose cryptanalysis, where a password can be revealed with the threat of a beating.

Guitar Hero

The system uses  Serial Interception Sequence Learning (SISL), which to non-boffins looks rather like playing Guitar Hero. Learning the password involves the use of the GuitarHero like a game with six buttons – S, D, F, J, K, L — and the user has to touch the matching key when the disk reaches the end. During a 45-minute training period, a user will hit the keyboard around 4,000 times — and where the user learns the password is in the fact that around 80 per cent of keys are being used to subconsciously impart a 30-character password.

The learned password has 38 bits of entropy, meaning that a computer would take eight years at a thousand guesses per second to figure out the password. IT also means that the user wouldn’t be able to divulge the password. Whether it means that a criminal still wouldn’t use the excuse to beat someone to a pulp is something the scientists didn’t answer.

The game itself can be played here.

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is the editor of Absolute Gadget and has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives.