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Covid-19 Notice

All campus events (including Division of Extension sponsored events outside of Dane County) are canceled through June 30, with limited exceptions to be granted by deans or vice chancellors. Even if an event is not yet labeled as canceled, it's likely to be canceled, postponed or modified to online only, from now through June 30. Please check with organizers before attending.

Colloquium: Empiricism-Informed Secure System Design: From Improving Passwords to Helping Domestic Violence Victims

Event Details

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
4-5 p.m.

Security often fails in practice due to a lack of understanding of the nuances in real-world systems. For example, users choose weak passwords to deal with the several usability issues with passwords, which in turn degrades the security of passwords. I will talk about how we can build better security mechanisms by combining methodical empiricism with analytical frameworks.  First, in the context of passwords, I will show how to improve the usability of passwords by allowing users to log in with typos in their passwords. I will detail in the talk how to do so without giving attackers any additional advantage to impersonate a user.  

In the second part of my talk, I will talk about my recent research direction on how traditional authentication mechanisms fail to properly model digital attacks by domestic abusers, and therefore are ineffective for victims. As a result, abusers can spy on, stalk, or harass victims using seemingly innocuous apps and technologies.  I will finish with some recent progress that I have made in helping victims of tech abuse, and provide some future research directions. 

Coffee and Cookies will be available.