Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Authenticating Mobile Device Users Through Image Selection

Published

Author(s)

Wayne Jansen

Abstract

Adequate user authentication is a persistent problem, particularly with mobile devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), which tend to be highly personal and at the fringes of an organization's influence. Yet these devices are being used increasingly in military and government agencies, hospitals, and other business settings, where they pose a risk to security and privacy, not only from sensitive information they may contain, but also from the means they typically offer to access such information over wireless networks. User authentication is the first line of defence for a mobile device that falls into the hands of an unauthorized individual. However, motivating users to enable simple PIN or password mechanisms and periodically update their authentication information is difficult at best. This paper describes a general-purpose mechanism for authenticating users through image selection. The underlying rationale is that image recall is an easy and natural way for users to authenticate, removing a serious barrier to users¿ compliance with corporate policy. The approach described distinguishes itself from other attempts in this area in several ways, including style dependent image selection, password reuse, and embedded salting, which collectively overcome a number of problems in employing knowledge-based authentication on mobile devices.
Citation
Data Security 2004

Keywords

computer security, mobile devices, user authentication

Citation

Jansen, W. (2004), Authenticating Mobile Device Users Through Image Selection, Data Security 2004, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=150442 (Accessed May 20, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created May 19, 2004, Updated February 19, 2017