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Picture Password in Windows 8 Consumer Preview


Posted Date: 15-Feb-2012  Last Updated:   Category: Cloud Computing    
Author: Member Level: Diamond    Points: 35


This is an article about Picture Password feature which is to be found in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Here in this article you will understand the need for this Picture Password and also the detailed analysis over it. Read the article to know more information and understand how get hand on with this new feature of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.


Till now many "best practices" have been established for typed passwords such as numbers+letters+mixed case, length, inability to recycle passwords, no dictionary words, etc but these provides less secure. So, the main goal in picture password security is to provide a convenient mechanism that was clearly more secure than text passwords.

First let us know about picture password, it is a new form of logging on and concerns over security which is especially with mobile devices and new authentication techniques that is fragility of facial recognition.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Picture Password

Windows 8 consumer Preview will also allow us to login using picture passwords for security purpose. Actually the concept is simple and we need to select an image from the picture gallery from our computer. Then we need to specify a gesture to authenticate secure login which will be something like drawing a circle or drawing a line between 2 points inside an image. One important point is that there is no restriction on which picture or what type of picture that can be used as password. One simple example is if I have my friend's picture inside the gallery from which I specify that if I touch the eyes of my close friend to login then that becomes my password. Next time when I want to login i just need to touch the eyes of my close friend which I specified for password will log me into my computer.

This sign in method was fast, fluid, robust, secure and personal to the user. Another one important thing is if we wants to reproduce picture password we need to know not only the parts of the image that is highlighted, but also the gestures that were mentioned while creating it.

The Purpose of Picture Passwords


The Traditional login process creates some security issues that most users choose password that is easy to be remembered. Using Alphanumeric passwords are stronger, but the problem is vulnerable to Key logger programs which will record and reproduce what the user typed in the keyboard.

In order to solve this problem Microsoft now introduces the Picture Passwords for security purpose. Another problem is backing up password. But this problem is not solved by Microsoft in Windows 8.

The best practices for creating the most secure sequence of login gestures?

1. Pick a photo that has at least 10 points .

2. We can choose to use a tap, line and circle randomly. For circle we have to randomly draw it either clockwise or counter clockwise. For line we have to draw from left to right.

3. We have to keep our computer in secure location.

Analysis of Picture Password


We have to assume that the taps are directly on POIs,but circles comes with 2 sizes and 2 directions and lines always gets connected to 2 POIs.

• The 2 sizes are small around point and larger around point.

• The 2 directions are clockwise and counter clockwise.

Ramping it up


First let us assume that there are 5 POIs in our picture. We have to begin to imagine that some simple pictures where this might be the case. So, now we have 5 possible taps, 20 circles and 20 lines. This gies us 91,125 sequences, Odds1 is vanishingly small at 0.0055% and Odds100 is low at 0.55%.For most of the users, these odds are sufficient to protect the data's.

Picture Password is a new way to help us protect the touchscreen PC. We choose the picture and gestures we have to use with it to create a password that's uniquely ours. Once when we choose a picture, we draw directly on the touchscreen to create a combination of taps, straight lines or circles. The size position and direction of our gestures become part of our picture password.



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