Issue No. 04 - July/August (2002 vol. 14)
<p>We present a simple connectionist algorithm for testing the quality of computer passwords. Password quality is evaluated by testing the string against a large dictionary of words stored in a network in distributed form. Numerical simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach. Computer security has always been an issue, more so in recent years due to the global network access. In this correspondence, we present a simple connectionist algorithm for testing the quality of computer passwords. A popular method of evaluating password quality is to test it against a large dictionary of words and near-words. Our algorithm is an approximate realization of this method. The large dictionary of words is stored in the network in distributed form. All stored words are stable; however, spurious memories may develop. Although there is no easy way to determine exactly which nonword strings become spurious, nor even exactly how many spurious memories form, the numerical simulations below reveal that the network works well in distinguishing words and near-words from structure-less strings. Thus, to evaluate a password, one would present it to the network and, if the network labeled it a memory, the password would be considered bad, otherwise good.</p>
Hopfield networks, edit distance, string searching, spurious memories.
N. Duffy and A. Jagota, "Connectionist Password Quality Tester," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 14, no. , pp. 920-922, 2002.