London, January 15 (ANI): New touch screen phones may soon be equipped with a system to stop 'shoulder surfers' from spying your secret pass codes, thanks to computer scientist who developed the technology.
Computer scientists Paul Dunphy and Patrick Olivier at Newcastle University, along with colleagues David Kim and psychologist Pam Briggs at Northumbria University, have created a new security system called 'ColorRings.'
The technology moves over four-digit PIN system and gaze-tracking or fingerprints.
It requires the user to remember a sequence of pictorial icons instead of numbers.
They are presented with a screen littered with different icons, including their four secret ones.
By simply using one or more fingers to drag four different coloured circles - each representing one of four positions in the pass-code sequence - the user has to position them so that each encircles the correct icon.
Since, each ring is large enough to encompass up to six icons, so it won't be easy for a snooper to know which icon in each ring is part of the code.
Even a spy dedicated enough to observe multiple logins would still have to quickly memorise dozens of different potentially correct icons and combinations each time.
"It's simple for the user but complex for the attacker," New Scientist quoted Briggs as saying.
Olivier's team has developed a face-based authentication system too.
In this case, the user has to select a different known face in each of a sequence of grids containing lots of faces.
The user needs to place three fingers on each grid, highlighting three rows or columns of faces.
However, subtle additional pressure must be applied to the row in which the known face sits to make their actual selection.
Kim said: "So the user is not directly selecting each face." (ANI)