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Password Generation and Search Space Reduction

Author(s): Kirsi Helkala | Einar Snekkenes

Journal: Journal of Computers
ISSN 1796-203X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 663;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Password security | password policy | search space reduction | personnel authentication

It is easy for humans to design passwords that are easily remembered. However, such passwords may have a predictable structure, making exhaustive search feasible. We have divided human-generated passwords into three categories: Non-word passwords, Mixture passwords, and Word passwords; depending on their overall structure. Within these categories, we have analyzed the search-space reduction of several common password sub-structures. From this analysis, we have derived guidelines that yield strong passwords within in each password category. Our results contribute towards the goal of achieving both strong and memorable passwords.
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