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Method of Securing Passwords from Shoulder-Surfing using Multiple Simultaneous Key Presses

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131905D
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-21
Document File: 1 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Passwords are often used for authenticating a user. The most common form of this authentication is to have the user type in a password using a keyboard or a keypad. In situations where other people can see the keys as they are pressed, this can be a security hazard because a password thief can discover the user's password by watching the user closely while he types the password. This password-stealing action is called "shoulder-surfing". The password thief can then use this information to impersonate the user on the secure system and access potentially sensitive information. The invention solves the problem by making use of simultaneous multiple simultaneous keystrokes to make shoulder-surfing more difficult. The shoulder-surfer would have to track both hands at the same time and observe whether one or two keys were to pressed at the same time, and in which sequence. At normal password entry speeds, the multiple simultaneous key method of password entry would be much more difficult to shoulder-surf than that of the traditional single-keystroke password.

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Multiple-Keyed Passwords

Method of Securing Passwords from Shoulder-Surfing using Multiple Simultaneous Key Presses

Disclosed Anonymously

Passwords are often used for authenticating a user.  The most common form of this authentication is to have the user type in a password using a keyboard or a keypad.  In situations where other people can see the keys as they are pressed, this can be a security hazard because a password thief can discover the user's password by watching the user closely while he types the password.  This password-stealing action is called "shoulder-surfing".  The password thief can then use this information to impersonate the user on the secure system and access potentially sensitive information.

The invention solves the problem by making use of simultaneous multiple simultaneous keystrokes to make shoulder-surfing more difficult.  The shoulder-surfer would have to track both hands at the same time and observe whether one or two keys were to pressed at the same time, and in which sequence.  At normal password entry speeds, the multiple simultaneous key method of password entry would be much more difficult to shoulder-surf than that of the traditional single-keystroke password.