ClickPattern: A Pattern Lock System Resilient to Smudge and Side-channel Attacks

Meriem Guerar
1+, Alessio Merlo2, and Mauro Migliardi1

1DEI - University of Padua, Padua, Italy,


2DIBRIS - University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.



Pattern lock is a very popular mechanism to secure authenticated access to mobile terminals; this is mainly due to its ease of use and the fact that muscle memory endows it with an extreme memorability. Nonetheless, pattern lock is also very vulnerable to smudge and side channels attacks, thus its actual level of security has been often considered insufficient. In this paper we describe a mechanism that enhances pattern lock security with resilience to smudge and side channel attacks, maintains a comparable level of memorability and provides ease of use that is still comparable with Pattern Lock while outperforming other schemes proposed in the literature. To prove our claim, we have performed a usability test with 51 volunteers and we have compared our results with the other schemes.


Keywords: Mobile Security, Authentication, Side Channel Attack, Smudge Attack


+: Corresponding author: Meriem Guerar
Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione (DEI), Room 419, Via Gradenigo 6g, 35131, Padova.
Tel: +39 049 827 7955


Journal of Wireless Mobile Networks, Ubiquitous Computing, and Dependable Applications (JoWUA)

Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 64-78, June 2017 [pdf]