WCSE 2018 ISBN: 978-981-11-7861-0
DOI: 10.18178/wcse.2018.06.089

Do Students with High Grade Point Averages Create Better Passwords?

Josephine M. de la Cuesta

Abstract— Technological advances made possible different ways to secure data and information. Passwords though remain to be the popular choice to authenticate users for its ease of use and, for the organization, it is inexpensive to administer. Studies show however that passwords have limitations, which is addressed by defining stricter and more complex password creation policies. User reactions to such policies vary, from delaying conformance to opting for ease and convenience when creating passwords, with little consideration for the resulting security risks. Studies have likewise been made regarding the factors that affect password creation, such factors mostly being behavioral in nature. This study intends to determine if Asia Pacific College students’ academic performance positively or negatively impacts password creation. In compliance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Digital Identity Guidelines, the password of each student logging in to the information system was captured and recorded over a duration that included peak periods of system activity. These passwords were hashed and compared with a corpus of 320 million breached passwords, to identify which were compromised and not compromised. To this list, the grade point average (GPA) of each student was added. The resulting data set, with student information, password status and GPA data were analyzed. Statistical analysis shows that there is a significant difference between the compromised and not compromised group in terms of the mean of the GPA. Academic performance may positively impact password creation. The study can be expanded to further test this conclusion.

Index Terms— password authentication, breached passwords, password strength, password creation

Josephine M. de la Cuesta
Asia Pacific College, PHILIPPINES
College of Computer Studies, De La Salle University, PHILIPPINES


Cite: Josephine M. de la Cuesta, "Do Students with High Grade Point Averages Create Better Passwords?," Proceedings of 2018 the 8th International Workshop on Computer Science and Engineering, pp. 521-525, Bangkok, 28-30 June, 2018.