Android lock patterns analyzed, deemed predictable

Shane McGlaun - Aug 24, 2015, 5:00am CDT
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Android lock patterns analyzed, deemed predictable

The other day I picked up a co-workers phone lying on the desk and noticed that you could clearly see the greasy smudges on the screen of the phone highlighting the lock pattern of the device. I probably could have been into that phone in a few minutes. As it turns out Android lock patters are somewhat predictable according to a graduate student who has been studying them.

The student looked at a sample of about 4,000 Android lock patterns that were collected and discovered that most people follow common patterns. The grad student studying these lock patterns is Marte Løge from Norwegian University as part of her master’s thesis. She says that about 77% of those sampled started in one of the four corners.

44% of that 77% that started in the corner started in the top left corner. She also learned that many of the patterns started in the left and then moved to the right. The most popular patterns had four nodes and the least popular were eight nodes.

She found that men chose more complex patterns than women. More than 10% of the patterns followed the pattern of a letter in the alphabet and the letters were usually an initial of the person or someone close to them. She says to make your pattern more secure choose more nodes, have a crossover with the same node twice and turn off the make pattern visible option.

SOURCE: Android Community


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