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Love and authentication
Conferences & Talks

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Security and Human Behaviour

30 June 2008 - 1 July 2008
Boston, Massachusetts, USA



One of the most commonly neglected security vulnerabilities associated with typical online service providers lies in the password reset process. By being based on a small number of questions whose answers often can be derived using data-mining techniques, or even guessed, many sites are open to attack. To exacerbate the problem, many sites pose the very same questions to users wishing to reset their forgotten passwords, creating a common "meta password'' between sites: the password reset questions. At the same time, as the number of accounts per user increases, so does the risk for the user to forget her password. Unfortunately, the cost of a customer-service mediated password reset is far beyond possible for most service providers. In this talk, an alternative technique will be presented. It is fast and efficient, is compatible with input-constrained devices (such as handheld devices), and has low error rates.