New GOTCHA Password System Uses Inkblots

New GOTCHA Password System Uses Inkblots

By Shinji Tutoru

CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY, PA, USA. A group of scientists were able to develop a new type of password system which utilizes inkblots as an added form of protection. This system was proven to be most useful in situations wherein passwords are stolen from websites.

The new password system is called GOTCHA (Generating panOptic Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart). It is highly recommended for protecting bank accounts, medical records and other high-value accounts with sensitive information that need utmost protection.

The first step in creating a GOTCHA is for the user to create a password. The system then generates several random, multi-colored inkblots. Each inkblot is then described with a text phrase by the user and then stored along with the password in random order. When the user signs back in to the site with the password, the inkblots are displayed once again with the text phrases. This time, the user would need to match each inkblot with the right text phrase just like a puzzle.

For any human, this method is a very easy task as it deals with a very simply puzzle that needs to be solved in order to gain entry. Conversely, a computer would find it rather difficult to solve such a very simple puzzle. The developer of the GOTCHA password method is Jeremiah Blocki, a Ph.D. student in computer science. He is working with Manuel Blum, professor of computer science, and Anupam Datta, associate professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering.

Although GOTCHA might seem similar to CAPTCHA, the developers are confident that these are two different password protection systems. They also said that GOTCHA is not an alternative to CAPTCHA in any way.

Invention GOTCHA Password System
Organization Carnegie Mellon University
Researcher Jeremiah Blocki & Team
Field(s) security system, password security, password system, GOTCHA, CAPTCHA
Further Information

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