Using Theme-based Narrative Construct of Images as Passwords: Implementation and Assessment of Remembered Sequences

Priya Chellaiah, Bipin Nair, Krishnashree Achuthan, Shyam Diwakar


Secret keys connecting users to the system is the heart of cryptographic systems. With the recent wars, several cryptographic systems that use alpha-numeric passwords have been known to be vulnerable to many attacks. Image based password systems were introduced to add more complexity and security. This paper employs human uniqueness of narrative skills on an image-based password system with focus on theme in the password generation process. To generate the secret password, a specially designed computer game was used. We used narrative constructs composed of cartoon image sequences to generate user-specific secret key. The durability of generated passwords and the authentication process while assessing the reconstruction process by a potential hacker was verified. Under imposed psychological duress, users failed retrieving the password sequence suggesting the reliability as an anti-coercive attack cybersecurity tool. A set of experiments were used to analyze user behavior behind the image-based password system. EEG measurements demonstrated increased activity of α rhythms in F3 and FC5 channel bins and augmented levels of β rhythms in F3 and O1 channels, suggesting users added personalization to authentication more than in alpha-numeric password-based logins.


Cybersecurity; Image-based passwords; Authentication; Sequence Learning; Cartoon Sequence; ElectroEncephaloGraphy.

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International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE) – eISSN: 2626-8493
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