Cognitive, Associative, and Conventional Passwords: Recall and Guessing Rates
Authors: Julie Bunnell, John Podd, Ron Henderson, R. Napier, J. Kennedy-Moffat

Date: 1997
Publication: Computers and Security, Volume 16, Number 7
Page(s): 629 - 641
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Source 1: - Subscription or payment required

Abstract or Summary:
The present paper investigated the viability of cognitive passwords and word associations as techniques that might supplement conventional alphanumeric passwords. Results from 86 participants showed that fact-based cognitive items were better recalled than opinion-based items, but people socially close to the participants were able to guess many of the fact-based items. Guessing rates for the word associations were low but so also were the recall rates. It is concluded that selected cognitive items can yield acceptable recall and guessing rates while being less susceptible to forgetting than conventional passwords. Word associations require more research to isolate the best method of generating them.

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