skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 10:00 PM ET on Friday, December 8 until 2:00 AM ET on Saturday, December 9 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: Utilizing Keystroke Dynamics as Additional Security Measure to Protect Account Recovery Mechanism [Utilizing Keystroke Dynamics as Additional Security Measure to Protect Account Recovery Mechanism]
Account recovery is ubiquitous across web applications but circumvents the username/password-based login step. Therefore, it deserves the same level of security as the user authentication process. A common simplistic procedure for account recovery requires that a user enters the same email used during registration, to which a password recovery link or a new username could be sent. Therefore, an impostor with access to a user’s registration email and other credentials can trigger an account recovery session to take over the user’s account. To prevent such attacks, beyond validating the email and other credentials entered by the user, our proposed recovery method utilizes keystroke dynamics to further secure the account recovery mechanism. Keystroke dynamics is a type of behavioral biometrics that uses the analysis of typing rhythm for user authentication. Using a new dataset with over 500,000 keystrokes collected from 44 students and university staff when they fill out an account recovery web form of multiple fields, we have evaluated the performance of five scoring algorithms on individual fields as well as feature-level fusion and weighted-score fusion. We achieve the best EER of 5.47% when keystroke dynamics from individual fields are used, 0% for a feature-level fusion of five fields, and 0% for a weighted-score fusion of seven fields. Our work represents a new kind of keystroke dynamics that we would like to call it ‘medium fixed-text’ as it sits between the conventional (short) fixed text and (long) free text research.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
7th International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Research on keystroke dynamics has the good potential to offer continuous authentication that complements conventional authentication methods in combating insider threats and identity theft before more harm can be done to the genuine users. Unfortunately, the large amount of data required by free-text keystroke authentication often contain personally identifiable information, or PII, and personally sensitive information, such as a user's first name and last name, username and password for an account, bank card numbers, and social security numbers. As a result, there are privacy risks associated with keystroke data that must be mitigated before they are shared with other researchers. We conduct a systematic study to remove PII's from a recent large keystroke dataset. We find substantial amounts of PII's from the dataset, including names, usernames and passwords, social security numbers, and bank card numbers, which, if leaked, may lead to various harms to the user, including personal embarrassment, blackmails, financial loss, and identity theft. We thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of our detection program for each kind of PII. We demonstrate that our PII detection program can achieve near perfect recall at the expense of losing some useful information (lower precision). Finally, we demonstrate that the removal of PII's from the original dataset has only negligible impact on the detection error tradeoff of the free-text authentication algorithm by Gunetti and Picardi. We hope that this experience report will be useful in informing the design of privacy removal in future keystroke dynamics based user authentication systems. 
    more » « less
  2. Mobile devices typically rely on entry-point and other one-time authentication mechanisms such as a password, PIN, fingerprint, iris, or face. But these authentication types are prone to a wide attack vector and worse 1 INTRODUCTION Currently smartphones are predominantly protected a patterned password is prone to smudge attacks, and fingerprint scanning is prone to spoof attacks. Other forms of attacks include video capture and shoulder surfing. Given the increasingly important roles smartphones play in e-commerce and other operations where security is crucial, there lies a strong need of continuous authentication mechanisms to complement and enhance one-time authentication such that even if the authentication at the point of login gets compromised, the device is still unobtrusively protected by additional security measures in a continuous fashion. The research community has investigated several continuous authentication mechanisms based on unique human behavioral traits, including typing, swiping, and gait. To this end, we focus on investigating physiological traits. While interacting with hand-held devices, individuals strive to achieve stability and precision. This is because a certain degree of stability is required in order to manipulate and interact successfully with smartphones, while precision is needed for tasks such as touching or tapping a small target on the touch screen (Sitov´a et al., 2015). As a result, to achieve stability and precision, individuals tend to develop their own postural preferences, such as holding a phone with one or both hands, supporting hands on the sides of upper torso and interacting, keeping the phone on the table and typing with the preferred finger, setting the phone on knees while sitting crosslegged and typing, supporting both elbows on chair handles and typing. On the other hand, physiological traits, such as hand-size, grip strength, muscles, age, 424 Ray, A., Hou, D., Schuckers, S. and Barbir, A. Continuous Authentication based on Hand Micro-movement during Smartphone Form Filling by Seated Human Subjects. DOI: 10.5220/0010225804240431 In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy (ICISSP 2021), pages 424-431 ISBN: 978-989-758-491-6 Copyrightc 2021 by SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved still, once compromised, fail to protect the user’s account and data. In contrast, continuous authentication, based on traits of human behavior, can offer additional security measures in the device to authenticate against unauthorized users, even after the entry-point and one-time authentication has been compromised. To this end, we have collected a new data-set of multiple behavioral biometric modalities (49 users) when a user fills out an account recovery form in sitting using an Android app. These include motion events (acceleration and angular velocity), touch and swipe events, keystrokes, and pattern tracing. In this paper, we focus on authentication based on motion events by evaluating a set of score level fusion techniques to authenticate users based on the acceleration and angular velocity data. The best EERs of 2.4% and 6.9% for intra- and inter-session respectively, are achieved by fusing acceleration and angular velocity using Nandakumar et al.’s likelihood ratio (LR) based score fusion. 
    more » « less
  3. As account compromises and malicious online attacks are on the rise, multi-factor authentication (MFA) has been adopted to defend against these attacks. OTP and mobile push notification are just two examples of the popularly adopted MFA factors. Although MFA improve security, they also add additional steps or hardware to the authentication process, thus increasing the authentication time and introducing friction. On the other hand, keystroke dynamics-based authentication is believed to be a promising MFA for increasing security while reducing friction. While there have been several studies on the usability of other MFA factors, the usability of keystroke dynamics has not been studied. To this end, we have built a web authentication system with the standard features of signup, login and account recovery, and integrated keystroke dynamics as an additional factor. We then conducted a user study on the system where 20 participants completed tasks related to signup, login and account recovery. We have also evaluated a new approach for completing the user enrollment process, which reduces friction by naturally employing other alternative MFA factors (OTP in our study) when keystroke dynamics is not ready for use. Our study shows that while maintaining strong security (0% FPR), adding keystroke dynamics reduces authentication friction by avoiding 66.3% of OTP at login and 85.8% of OTP at account recovery, which in turn reduces the authentication time by 63.3% and 78.9% for login and account recovery respectively. Through an exit survey, all participants have rated the integration of keystroke dynamics with OTP to be more preferable to the conventional OTP-only authentication. 
    more » « less
  4. Keystroke dynamics are a powerful behavioral biometric capable of determining user identity and for continuous authentication. It is an unobtrusive method that can complement an existing security system such as a password scheme and provides continuous user authentication. Existing methods record all keystrokes and use n-graphs that measure the timing between consecutive keystrokes to distinguish between users. Current state-of-the-art algorithms report EER’s of 7.5% or higher with 1000 characters. With 1000 characters it takes a longer time to detect an imposter and significant damage could be done. In this paper, we investigate how quickly a user is authenticated or how many digraphs are required to accurately detect an imposter in an uncontrolled free-text environment. We present and evaluate the effectiveness of three distance metrics individually and fused with each other. We show that with just 100 digraphs, about the length of a single sentence, we achieve an EER of 35.3%. At 200 digraphs the EER drops to 15.3%. With more digraphs, the performance continues to steadily improve. With 1000 digraphs the EER drops to 3.6% which is an improvement over the state-of-the-art. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    In the realm of computer security, the username/password standard is becoming increasingly antiquated. Usage of the same username and password across various accounts can leave a user open to potential vulnerabilities. Authentication methods of the future need to maintain the ability to provide secure access without a reduction in speed. Facial recognition technologies are quickly becoming integral parts of user security, allowing for a secondary level of user authentication. Augmenting traditional username and password security with facial biometrics has already seen impressive results; however, studying these techniques is necessary to determine how effective these methods are within various parameters. A Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) is a powerful classification approach which is often used for image identification and verification. Quite recently, CNNs have shown great promise in the area of facial image recognition. The comparative study proposed in this paper offers an in-depth analysis of several state-of-the-art deep learning based-facial recognition technologies, to determine via accuracy and other metrics which of those are most effective. In our study, VGG-16 and VGG-19 showed the highest levels of image recognition accuracy, as well as F1-Score. The most favorable configurations of CNN should be documented as an effective way to potentially augment the current username/password standard by increasing the current method’s security with additional facial biometrics. 
    more » « less