, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 83-96
Date: 30 Oct 2012

Cryptanalysis of the convex hull click human identification protocol

Abstract

Recently, a convex hull-based human identification protocol was proposed by Sobrado and Birget, whose steps can be performed by humans without additional aid. The main part of the protocol involves the user mentally forming a convex hull of secret icons in a set of graphical icons and then clicking randomly within this convex hull. While some rudimentary security issues of this protocol have been discussed, a comprehensive security analysis has been lacking. In this paper, we analyze the security of this convex hull-based protocol. In particular, we show two probabilistic attacks that reveal the user’s secret after the observation of only a handful of authentication sessions. These attacks can be efficiently implemented as their time and space complexities are considerably less than brute force attack. We show that while the first attack can be mitigated through appropriately chosen values of system parameters, the second attack succeeds with a non-negligible probability even with large system parameter values that cross the threshold of usability.