Now you see me, now you don't: protecting smartphone authentication from shoulder surfers


In this paper, we present XSide, an authentication mechanism that uses the front and the back of smartphones to enter stroke-based passwords. Users can switch sides during input to minimize the risk of shoulder surfing. We performed a user study (n = 32) to explore how switching sides during authentication affects usability and security of the system. The results indicate that switching the sides increases security while authentication speed stays relatively fast (≤ 4 seconds). The paper furthermore provides insights on accuracy of eyes-free input (as used in XSide) and shows how 3D printed prototype cases can improve the back-of-device interaction experience.

Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems