Maps May Be the Next Passwords

Image: Department of the Interior

Speaking at the New York Institute of Technology Cyber Security Conference last week, computer scientist Bill Cheswick presented his idea of using a point on a map as a password.

Because users must zoom in on an image, this kind of technology would defeat hackers who could record keystrokes or mouse clicks. It would also offer more convenience for users, who would only need to memorize a single spot on a map rather than creating multiple combinations of symbols, letters and numbers that are easy to forget or must be changed every three months.

“The key idea is that you have a data set with very deep data, and you have to drill down,” Cheswick told IT News Online.

“You could drill down on a map of anything. Probably better if it’s a map of someplace you’ve never been, so you’re not tempted to pick your childhood home,” said Cheswick, a scientist at AT&T research. “You could have a 10-digit latitude, and a 10-digit longitude, then you have a 20 digit password.”

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