“Password policy languages: usable translation from the informal to the formal.” Michelle Steves, Mary Theofanos, Celia Paulsen, Athos Ribeiro. In Human Aspects of Information Security, Privacy and Trust: 3rd International Conference, HAS 2015, Held as Part of HCI International 2015, Los Angeles, CA, USA, August 2-7, 2015. Proceedings, pp. 119-130. Springer International Publishing, 2015.

 Conference Proceedings

Password policies – documents which regulate how users must create, manage, and change their passwords – can have complex and unforeseen consequences on organizational security. Since these policies regulate user behavior, users must be clear as to what is expected of them. Unfortunately, current policies are written in language that is often ambiguous. To tackle ambiguity, we previously developed a formal language for stating what behavior is and is not allowed regarding password management. Unfortunately, manual translation of the policy to this formal language is time consuming and error prone. This work focuses on providing an interface for policy users to generate accurate models of their interpretations of a password policy. This will aid password policy research, formalization, and ultimately more usable password policies. This paper describes the requirements, design, high-level application features, application validation, user testing, and includes a discussion of how this work is expected to progress.


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Athos Ribeiro, Software Engineer, Graduate Student in the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics at University of São Paulo and contributor at the Fedora Project

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