New system to toughen online banking security

Washington D.C, Dec 24 (ANI): Providing a secure alternative, images and codes are set to make the multi-device password system a history, according to a new study.

A system using images and a one-time numerical code could provide a secure and easy to use alternative to multi-factor methods dependent on hardware or software and one-time passwords, the study by Plymouth University suggests.

Researchers from the Centre for Security Communication and Network Research (CSCAN) believe their new multi-level authentication system GOTPass could be effective in protecting personal online information from hackers.

It could also be easier for users to remember, and be less expensive for providers to implement since it would not require the deployment of potentially costly hardware systems.

Researchers said that the system would be applicable for online banking and other such services, where users with several accounts would struggle to carry around multiple devices, to gain access.

They also publish the results of a series of security tests, demonstrating that out of 690 hacking attempts – using a range of guesswork and more targeted methods – there were just 23 successful break-ins.

Hussain Alsaiari, who led the study, said that the GOTPass system is easy to use and implement, while at the same time offering users confidence that their information is being held securely.

To set up the GOTPass system, users would have to choose a unique username and draw any shape on a 4×4 unlock pattern, similar to that already used on mobile devices. They will then be assigned four random themes, being prompted to select one image from 30 in each.

When they subsequently log in to their account, the user would enter their username and draw the pattern lock, with the next screen containing a series of 16 images, among which are two of their selected images, six associated distractors and eight random decoys.

Correctly identifying the two images would lead to the generated eight-digit random code located on the top or left edges of the login panel which the user would then need to type in to gain access to their information.

Initial tests have shown the system to be easy to remember for users, while security analysis showed just eight of the 690 attempted hackings were genuinely successful, with a further 15 achieved through coincidence.

The study appears in Information Security Journal: A Global Perspective. (ANI)

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