I cannot remember where I read this in the past day but Slashdot was kind enough to give me a helpful reminder...
Remembering passwords could get a lot easier, according to a research project, "DÃ©jÃ Vu", at the University of California at Berkeley, which is requiring participants to select a series of images as a password.
A user first picks out a personal portfolio of five colorful images. The pictures are based on mathematical equations that assign a color to each pixel in the image. Different numerical inputs into the equations generate different pictures. Those numbers, rather than the images, are stored in the computer.
When a user has to identify himself to a computer, a Web site or a bank ATM., these 5 images are shown among a set of 25 images. The user then picks out the pictures from his portfolio.
In their tests, 90 percent of the people were able to use DÃ©jÃ Vu images successfully, while only about 70 percent remembered their passwords and PIN's.
And in a related article, it just goes to show that un-educated computer users (and even the educated computer user...) need to pick better passwords, with the example that at a popular Web site that had 2.5 million registered users with an average age of 25, popular passwords were "stud," "goddess," "cutiepie" and "hotbod."
And at Bargaindog.com, a shopping site with more than 20 million users that is popular with middle-aged women, the most popular password was "love."
(Now, where did I put my password cracker... Ed!)
Additional News story: The New York Times - And the password is ... Waterloo