Honeywords provide additional password security
Corporate data breaches seem to be on the rise, rarely a week passes without a company revealing that its database has been hacked and regrettably usernames, passwords, credit card details and its customers’ personal information has been leaked on to the open internet. A new protection, nicknamed Phoney, is reported in the International Journal of Embedded Systems.
Rong Wang, Hao Chen and Jianhua of Sun College of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha, China, explain that once password files have been stolen, attackers can quickly crack large numbers of passwords. With their “Phoney” system which employs a threshold cryptosystem to encrypt the password hashes in the password file and honeywords to confuse attackers, even if the hackers have comprised a database, the phoney, honeywords, obfuscate and camouflage the genuine passwords. Moreover, if those honeywords are de-hashed and used in a login attempt, the hacked system will know to immediately block the fake user and lock down the account they tried to break into.
Hunan University is a member of both Project 985 and Project 211, both of which are sponsored by the Ministry of Education of China aiming to become a world-class university.