​Smartphone security is a must nowadays, but there are some passwords, pins and patterns that can be easily guessed. So, when you think that “this passwords or pattern can’t be hacked it might be common and can be hacked easily”.  Be cautious! 

Now let’s talk about one of the smartphone security methods: Unlock Patterns.

Guess the Average Number of Nodes? 
According to a research by MarteLøge, a 2015 graduate, 44% people start in the top left-most node of the screen. 77% of them start in one of the four corners. The average number of nodes is about five, meaning there are fewer than 9,000 possible pattern combinations. Shocked ?  Do you also use five nodes?

“Humans are predictable,” Løge even presented a talk titled Tell Me Who You Are, and I Will Tell You Your Lock Pattern. “We’re seeing the same aspects used when creating a pattern locks [as are used in] pin codes and alphanumeric passwords.”

Guess How Many Possible Combinations?

Android Lock Patterns can contain a minimum of four nodes and a maximum of nine, making there 389,112 possible combinations. In a similar fashion as passwords, the number of possible combinations grows exponentially with the length, at least up to a point. Here’s the breakdown:


  4  1,624 

  5  7,152 

  6  26,016 

  7  72,912 

  8  140,704 

  9  140,704 

 Total-    389,112 

Difference Between Male & Female Lock Patterns:
Males were much more likely than females to choose long and complex patterns, with young males scoring the highest.The slide below illustrates the overall breakdown between men’s and women’s choices differently.

Here Are the Weakest Links!

More than 10 percent is fashioned after an alphabetic letter, which often corresponded to the first initial of the subject or of a spouse, child, or other person close to the subject.    Maybe you too have one  

The discovery is significant because it means attackers may have a one-in-ten chance of guessing an ALP with no more than about 100 guesses. The number of guesses could be reduced further if the attacker knows the names of the target or of people close to the target.”It was a really fun thing to see that people use the same type of strategy for remembering a pattern as a password,” Løge said. “You see the same type of behavior.”

What Should You Do?

  1. Choose one with more nodes and a higher complexity score. 
  2. Incorporate crossovers, since it makes it harder for an attacker looking over the target’s shoulder to trace the precise sequence. 

  3. Open the Security category in your Android settings and turn off the “make pattern visible” option. This will prevent the drawing of lines that connect each pattern node, making shoulder surfing even more difficult.

Stay tune for the next post on satellite 📡 

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