One of the biggest privacy challenges in modern smartphones is how best to handle user authentication. Common approaches are either too weak or too difficult to use. For example, fingerprint readers are convenient but can be defeated rather easily, and a hacked fingerprint means an aspect of your identity is forever compromised. Strong alphanumeric passwords are difficult to remember and are prone to loss and compromise by a variety of means. Many consumers, faced with no good choices, simply use a weak pin or no authentication at all.
The PRIV offers an alternative means of protecting access to your device that combines security strength with ease of use: Picture Passwords. This method makes use of a number sequence distributed on a randomized grid, providing a quick-and-easy way to unlock your device that also protects against several common attack methods:
- Smudge Patterns: Because the PRIV’s Picture Passwords randomizes the number grid, you never follow the same pattern to unlock your device. This means that smudge patterns on your screen won’t help attackers guess your password.
- Looking Over Your Shoulder: Since Picture Passwords draw a number grid that’s randomized by both layout and size, your password cannot practically be guessed even by someone who is watching you unlock it.
- Brute Force: In addition to randomizing the size, location, and pattern of the grid numbers, Picture Passwords limit the number of guesses and require a minimum amount of movement across the grid – this makes brute force attacks impractical.
(Originally posted on the Inside BlackBerry Blog)
BlackBerry PRIV brings to Android one of the world’s best private authentication methods, combining security strength with ease of use. By offering a simple and effective authentication method, users are not tempted to turn off device login altogether and the user enjoys the perfect combination of privacy and simplicity: Picture Perfect Privacy.