Theoretical Security Evaluation of the Human Semantic Authentication Protocol

Hélène Le Bouder, Gaël Thomas, Edwin Bourget, Mariem Graa, Nora Cuppens, Jean-Louis Lanet

Abstract

Using a secret password or a PIN (Personal Identification Number) code is a common way to authenticate a user. Unfortunately this protection does not resist an attacker that can eavesdrop on the user (shoulder surfing attack). The Human Semantic Authentication (HSA) protocol proposes a solution against this attack. The main idea is to have concept passwords and to propose images that the user must correctly select in order to authenticate. A concept can be represented by different pictures, so one observation is not enough to retrieve the secret. In this paper, the security/efficiency trade-off in the HSA protocol is evaluated. A probabilistic approach is used. Under the assumption that the picture/concept database is known to the attacker, we show that HSA is barely more resistant to shoulder surfing attacks than a PIN code. More precisely we show that the probability to retrieve the secret concept password increases rapidly with the number of observations. Moreover the constraints on the size of the picture/concept database are very difficult to satisfy in practice.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Bourget E. and Cuppens N. (2018). Theoretical Security Evaluation of the Human Semantic Authentication Protocol.In Proceedings of the 15th International Joint Conference on e-Business and Telecommunications - Volume 1: SECRYPT, ISBN 978-989-758-319-3, pages 332-339. DOI: 10.5220/0006841703320339


in Bibtex Style

@conference{secrypt18,
author={Edwin Bourget and Nora Cuppens},
title={Theoretical Security Evaluation of the Human Semantic Authentication Protocol},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 15th International Joint Conference on e-Business and Telecommunications - Volume 1: SECRYPT,},
year={2018},
pages={332-339},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0006841703320339},
isbn={978-989-758-319-3},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF

JO - Proceedings of the 15th International Joint Conference on e-Business and Telecommunications - Volume 1: SECRYPT,
TI - Theoretical Security Evaluation of the Human Semantic Authentication Protocol
SN - 978-989-758-319-3
AU - Bourget E.
AU - Cuppens N.
PY - 2018
SP - 332
EP - 339
DO - 10.5220/0006841703320339