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Complexity metrics and user strength perceptions of the pattern-lock graphical authentication method

Andriotis, Panagiotis; Tryfonas, Theo; Oikonomou, George


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Dr Panos Andriotis
Senior Lecturer in Computer Forensics and Security

Theo Tryfonas

George Oikonomou


Theo Tryfonas

Ioannis Askoxylakis


One of the most popular contemporary graphical password approaches is the Pattern-Lock authentication mechanism that comes integrated with the Android mobile operating system. In this paper we investigate the impact of password strength meters on the selection of a perceivably secure pattern. We first define a suitable metric to measure pattern strength, taking into account the constraints imposed by the Pattern-Lock mechanism's design. We then implement an app via which we conduct a survey for Android users, retaining demographic information of responders and their perceptions on what constitutes a pattern complex enough to be secure. Subsequently, we display a pattern strength meter to the participant and investigate whether this additional prompt influences the user to change their pattern to a more effective and complex one. We also investigate potential correlations between our findings and results of a previous pilot study in order to detect any significant biases on setting a Pattern-Lock. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.


Andriotis, P., Tryfonas, T., & Oikonomou, G. (2014). Complexity metrics and user strength perceptions of the pattern-lock graphical authentication method. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 8533 LNCS, 115-126.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Acceptance Date Jun 22, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Print ISSN 0302-9743
Electronic ISSN 1611-3349
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8533 LNCS
Pages 115-126
Book Title Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy, and Trust
Keywords security, Android, password, bias, usability, feedback
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Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via
Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Second International Conference, HAS 2014, Held as Part of HCI International 2014


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