Outstanding Features of Expanded Password System

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People who enjoy handling images will gain better security and convenience.  The only extra effort required is to get the images registered. But people already do that across social media platforms and seem to love it.

So far, only texts have been accepted.  It was, as it were, we have no choice but to walk up a long steep staircase.  With Expanded Password System, we could imagine a situation that escalators and elevators are provided along with the staircase.  Or, some of us could think of all those ladders we have for climbing in Donkey Kong.

Where we want to continue to use textual passwords, we could opt to recall the remembered passwords, although the memory ceiling is very low,  Most of us can manage only up to several of them.

We could opt to recognize the pictures remembered in stories where we want to reduce the burden of textual passwords.  The memory ceiling is high, say, we would be able to manage more and more of them.

Where we choose to make use of episodic image memory, we would only need to recognize the unforgettable images, say, KNOWN images.   There is virtually no memory ceiling, that is, we would be able to manage as many passwords as we like, without any extra efforts.

The role of episodic memory

It is known that the episodic memory is the cognitive core of our continuous identity. It ensures the continuity of our perception of our self.

It is obvious that our bone, flesh, fat or skin does not make our identity as a citizen living in societies. We could be more rational in defining our identity as a social being.

Changeability of Episodic Memory

It’s known that episodic memories are easily changeable. What we remember as our experience may have been transformed and not objectively factual.  But it would not matter for Expanded Password System. What we subjectively remember as our episodic memory could suffice. From confidentiality’s point of view, it could be even better than objectively factual memories since no clues are given to attackers.

Competition to Expanded Password System

Competition could be thinkable only among the different products of Expanded Password System since

– Biometrics requires passwords as a backup means.

– Password-managers and single-sign-on services require passwords as the master-password.

– Multi-factor authentications require passwords as one of the factors.

– Pattern-on-grid and conventional/emoji-passwords can all be deployed on our platform.

Position of Our Proposition

We make identity authentication schemes better by leveraging the time-honored tradition of seals and autographs.  The underpinning principle of Expanded Password System shall not go away so long as people want our own volition and memory to remain involved in our identity assurance.

Why have people been sticking to characters for password authentication?

Frankly, we have no answer.  It is now broadly known that human beings are far better at remembering and recalling visual memories than doing the same for texts. We have hundreds of millions of years of history for the visual memory whereas the history of our text memories is no more than hundreds of years for most of us.

It is also known that CPUs are now fast enough, connection band broad enough, data storage cheap enough and digital cameras affordable enough. There is absolutely no reason to hesitate to use images for identity authentication.

And yet, people apparently think only about texts when they talk about passwords. We could only think of ‘momentum’, ‘sheer force of habit’ or cognitive bases like ‘normalcy bias’. We may need to ask for the help of researchers of cognitive science and behavioral economics

Q: Why has Expanded Password System been so unknown for as long as 17 years?

People who were carried away by the hyped attractiveness of biometrics and the inflated hi-tech image of password-less solutions would not listen to us.

Actually, over the period of 2003 to 2008 we were successful in Japan. We saw several commercial adoptions amounting to some US$1 million, even though the CPU was slow, the band narrow and the storage expensive in those days.

It then ceased to grow as people were more and more carried away by the biometrics and password-less solutions which the advocates alleged would kill the likes of passwords altogether, even though we knew that biometrics have to depend on the password as a fallback measure against false rejection and that a real password-less society would only mean Dystopia.

After struggling in vain to fight back for several years, we chose to get out of Japan where biometrics vendors were overpoweringly dominant, and started to look for bigger chances worldwide. We now have a lot of friends and supporters globally. Expanded Password System is now acknowledged as ‘Draft Proposal’ for OASIS Open Projects, with us given the chances to speak in front of the professional audience of Consumer Identity World 2018.

Why have so many security professionals tried not to listen for so long?

Our view is that those professionals, who had loudly advocated, promoted and endorsed biometrics and password-less authentications, might well suspect that listening to us could throw them into an awkward psychological situation that is extremely inconvenient and embarrassing to them.

We could think of ‘cognitive dissonance’ coupled with such cognitive biases as ‘sunk-cost bias’, ‘confirmation bias’ and ‘normalcy bias’. It could well provide a very good research theme for sociology, psychology, cognitive science and behavioral economics.

More topics are discussed here.

Conclusion

Expanded Password System that we advocate is supportive of

  • Biometrics that require passwords as a fallback means against false rejection
  • Two/multi-factor authentications that require passwords as one of the factors
  • ID federations such as password managers and single-sign-on services that require passwords as the master-password.
  • Simple pictorial/emoji-passwords and patterns-on-grid that can all be deployed on our platform

All with the effects that handling memorable images make us feel pleasant and relaxed and that it enables us to easily manage the relation between accounts and the corresponding passwords

  • And, nothing would be lost for the people who want to keep using textual passwords.
  • Lastly but not the least, it is democracy-compatible by way of providing the chances and means to get our volition confirmed in having our identity authenticated.
Hitoshi Kokumai
President, Mnemonic Security, Inc.
Hitoshi Kokuman is the inventor of Expanded Password System that enables people to make use of episodic image memories for intuitive and secure identity authentication.  He has kept raising the issue of wrong usage of biometrics with passwords and the false sense of security it brings for 16 years. Mnemonic Security Inc. was founded in 2001 by Hitoshi Kokumai for promoting Expanded Password System. Following the pilotscale operations in Japan, it is seeking to set up the global headquarters.  

Hitoshi Kokumai Web Site

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