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Joseph Maguire


Publications by Joseph Maguire (bibliography)

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Maguire, Joseph and Renaud, Karen (2012): You only live twice or "the years we wasted caring about shoulder-surfing. In: Proceedings of the HCI12 Conference on People and Computers XXVI 2012. pp. 404-409. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2377975

Passwords are a good idea, in theory. They have the potential to act as a fairly strong gateway. In practice though, passwords are plagued with problems. They are (1) easily shared, (2) trivial to observe and (3) maddeningly elusive when forgotten. While alternatives to passwords have been proposed, none, as yet, have been adopted widely. There seems to be a reluctance to switch from tried and tested passwords to novel alternatives, even if the most glaring flaws of passwords can be mitigated. One argument is that there is not enough investigation into the feasibility of many password alternatives. Graphical authentication mechanisms are a case in point. Therefore, in this paper, we detail the design of two prototype applications that utilise graphical authentication mechanisms. However, when forced to consider the design of such prototypes, we find that pertinent password problems eg. observation of entry, are just that: password problems. We conclude that effective, alternative authentication mechanisms should target authentication scenarios rather than the well-known problems of passwords. This is the only route to wide-spread adoption of alternatives.

© All rights reserved Maguire and Renaud and/or their publisher

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Renaud, Karen and Maguire, Joseph (2009): Armchair authentication. In: Proceedings of the HCI09 Conference on People and Computers XXIII 2009. pp. 388-397. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1671011.1671061

Alphanumeric authentication, by means of a secret, is not only a powerful mechanism, in theory, but prevails over all its competitors in practice. However, it is clearly inadequate in a world where increasing numbers of systems and services require people to authenticate in a shared space, while being actively observed. This new reality places pressure on a password mechanism never intended for use in such a context. Asterisks may obfuscate alphanumeric characters on entry but popular systems, e.g. Apple iPhone and Nintendo Wii, regularly require users to use an on-screen keyboard for character input. This may not be a real concern within the context of secluded space but inadvertly reveals a secret within shared space. Such a secret has an economic cost in terms of replacement, recall and revenue, all of which affect the financial return of the offending systems and services. In this paper, we present and evaluate a graphical authentication mechanism, Tetrad, which appears to have the potential to address these specific concerns.

© All rights reserved Renaud and Maguire and/or their publisher

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