Do Graphical Authentication Systems Solve the Password Memorability Problem?

  • Soumyadeb Chowdhury
  • Ron Poet
  • Lewis Mackenzie
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8533)


Passwords are the most common form of authentication. The password memorability problem is magnified with increasing number of systems users have to access. Graphical authentication systems (GASs) have received significant attention as one potential alternative to alphanumeric passwords to provide more usable authentication. In this paper we review all the existing work which had explored the memorability of multiple graphical passwords. The review reveals that human memory capabilities should not be overestimated and the password memorability problem remains unsolved, even when graphical passwords are employed. Hence we propose a novel graphical authentication system with certain new security features which could solve the problem. This paper will be of interest to Human Computer Interaction-Security researchers investigating approaches to usable and secure authentication techniques.


graphical authentication memorability password problem 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Adams, A., Sasse, M.A.: Users are not the enemy. Communications of the ACM, 40–46 (CACM December 1999)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Florencio, D., Herley, C.: A large-scale study of web password habits. In: Proceedings of International Conference on World Wide Web (WWW 2007), pp. 657–666 (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chiasson, S., Forget, A., Stobert, E., Oorschot, P.C.: Van, and Biddle, R. Multiple Password Interference in Text and Click-Based Graphical Passwords. In: Proc. of CCS, pp. 500–511 (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chowdhury, S., Poet, R., Mackenzie, L.: A comprehensive study of the usability of multiple graphical passwords. In: Kotzé, P., Marsden, G., Lindgaard, G., Wesson, J., Winckler, M. (eds.) INTERACT 2013, Part III. LNCS, vol. 8119, pp. 424–441. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davis, D., Monrose, F., Reiter, M.: On user choice in graphical password schemes. In: Proc. of the 13th conference on USENIX Security Symposium, vol. 13, USENIX Association Berkeley, CA (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dhamija, R., Perrig, A.: Deja vu: A user study using images for authentication. In: Proc. USENIX Security Symposium, pp. 45–48 (2000)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Everitt, K.M., Bragin, T., Fogarty, J., Kohno, T.: A comprehensive study of frequency, interference, and training of multiple graphical passwords. In: Proc. of CHI, pp. 889–898. ACM, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Moncur, W., LePlâtre, G.: Pictures at the ATM - Exploring the usability of multiple graphical passwords. In: Proc. of CHI, pp. 887–894 (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Renaud, K.: Web authentication using Mikon images. In: World Congress on Privacy, Security, Trust and the Management of E-Business, pp. 1-10Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Renaud, K.: On user involvement in production of images used in visual authentication. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing 92, 1–15 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tao, H.: Pass-Go, a new graphical password scheme. M.S. thesis, School of Information Technology and Engineering, University of Ottawa (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Madigan, S.: Picture Memory. In: Yuille, J. (ed.) Imagery, Memory, and Cognition: Essays in Honor of Allan Paivio. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale (1983)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tulving, E., Pearlstone, Z.: Availaibility Versus Accessibility of Information in Memory for Words. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour 5, 381–391 (1966)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Baddeley, A.: Human Memory:Theory and Practice. Psychology Press, Hove (1997)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jermyn, I., Mayer, A., Monrose, F., Reiter, M., Rubin, A.: The Design and Analysis of Graphical Passwords. In: Proceedings of 8th USENIX Security Symposium (1999)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wolfe, M.: Guided Search 2.0 A Revised Model of Visual Search. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 1(2), 202–238 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Szekely, A., Bates, E.: Objective Visual Complexity as a Variable in Picture Naming. In: CRL Newsletter Center for Research in Language, University of California, pp. 3–33 (2000)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mantyla, T.: Optimising cue effectiveness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition 12, 66–71 (1986)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mathur, P.N.: Barriers to effective visual communication, 3rd edn. Media Asia (1978)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sturken, M., Cartwright, L.: Practices of Looking: An introduction to visual culture. Oxford Press (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soumyadeb Chowdhury
    • 1
  • Ron Poet
    • 1
  • Lewis Mackenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computing ScienceUniversity of GlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations