Verified password generation from password composition policies

Abstract

Password managers (PMs) are important tools that enable the use of stronger passwords, freeing users from the cognitive burden of remembering them. Despite this, there are still many users who do not fully trust PMs. In this paper, we focus on a feature that most PMs offer that might impact the user’s trust, which is the process of generating a random password. We present three of the most commonly used algorithms and we propose a solution for a formally verified reference implementation of a password generation algorithm. We use EasyCrypt to specify and verify our reference implementation. In addition, we present a proof-of-concept prototype that extends Bitwarden to only generate compliant passwords, solving a frequent users’ frustration with PMs. This demonstrates that our formally verified component can be integrated into an existing (and widely used) PM.

Publication
In International Conference on Integrated Formal Methods, 2022
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Computer Scientist

My research interests include software reliability, software verification, and formal methods applied to software engineering. I am also interested in interactive storytelling. For more details, see some of my projects or my selected (or recent) publications. More posts are available in my blog. Follow me on Twitter or add me on LinkedIn.