Security concern: unlock patterns of Android users too easy to predict

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The lock patterns on most Android phones are surprisingly easy to predict, according to a report of Norwegian researcher Marte Løge. The researcher analyzed 4,000 patterns and concludes that 44% of all patterns start in the top left of the screen. Also, 77% of all patterns started in one of the four screen corners.
On average a pattern exists of 5 nodes which allows less than 9,000 different combinations. A significant number of users even uses a pattern of 4 nodes which allows for only 1,624 possible combinations. In most cases the pattern direction was from left to right and top to bottom.

The majority of the patterns aren’t very original. More than 10% of the analyzed patterns resembled a alphabetic letter, usual the first letter of the name of a child or partner. The study also reveals young men usually choose longer and more complex patterns.

“Humans are predictable”, according to Løge, “we’re seeing the same aspects used when creating a pattern locks [as are used in] pin codes and alphanumeric passwords.”

Previous analysis on large hacks already revealed that most users use the same simple passwords, such as ‘123456’,’password’, ‘letmein’ and ‘admin’.
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