Passwords and the Evolution of Imperfect Authentication
Authors: Joseph Bonneau, Cormac Herley, P.C. van Oorschot

Date: July 2015
Publication: Communications of the ACM, Vol. 58 No. 7
Page(s): 78 - 87
Publisher: ACM
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Abstract or Summary:
Theory on passwords has lagged behind practice, where large providers use back-end smarts to survive with imperfect technology. Simplistic models of user and attacker behaviors have led the research community to emphasize the wrong threats. Authentication is a classification problem amenable to machine learning, with many signals in addition to the password available to largeWeb services. Passwords will continue as a useful signal for the foreseeable future, where the goal is not impregnable security but reducing harm at acceptable cost.

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