Unsure about how secure your password is? You should try GOTPass

Our mobile, net-banking and e-mail passwords are never secure enough to resist multiple hacking attempts, no matter how long or jumbled they are. With hackers gaining access to more and more personal information by breaking through traditional security systems, it's important for us to adopt a combination system which will be difficult to hack into and easy to use as well.

Researchers at Plymouth University’s Centre for Security Communication and Network Research are working on a new concept called GOTPass which is a multi-level authentication system involving images, one-time numerical codes and eight digit PINs.

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“Traditional passwords are undoubtedly very usable but regardless of how safe people might feel their information is, the password’s vulnerability is well known. There are alternative systems out there, but they are either very costly or have deployment constraints which mean they can be difficult to integrate with existing systems while maintaining user consensus. The GOTPass system is easy to use and implement, while at the same time offering users confidence that their information is being held securely,” said Hussain Alsaiari, one of the researchers.

To set up GOTPass, you will need to add a new username and then draw a shape on a 4X4 unlock pattern. You will then be made to walk through four themes with each theme containing 30 images. You will have to select one image from each theme and make sure you remember the selected images.

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While logging in after setting up GOTPass, you will need to type in your username and then draw your 4X4 unlock pattern. You will then be taken to a screen with 16 images, two of which will be among the ones you previously chose while setting it up. Once you choose the correct images, a random eight-digit one-time code will be generated and will appear on your phone's login panel. Once you enter the code, your phone will be unlocked.

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The researchers recently published a series of security tests on the GOTPass system which showed that out of 690 hacking attempts, only 23 were successful.

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“In order for online security to be strong it needs to be difficult to hack, and we have demonstrated that using a combination of graphics and one-time password can achieve that. This also provides a low cost alternative to existing token-based multi-factor systems, which require the development and distribution of expensive hardware devices. We are now planning further tests to assess the long-term effectiveness of the GOTPass system, and more detailed aspects of usability,” said Dr. Maria Papadaki, Lecturer in Network Security at Plymouth University.


  1. Guest
    Guest2nd Jan 2016

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