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How Secure Are Four, Six-Digit Mobile Phone PINs?

Entering a personal identification number to unlock a cellphone.

Information technology security experts found that six-digit personal identification numbers (PINs) used on cellphone handsets offer little more security than four-digit PINs.

Credit: RUB, Marquard

Information technology security experts at Germany’s Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB) and Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy, and George Washington University assessing personal identification numbers (PIN) codes for securing Apple and Android cellphones found that six-digit PINs offer little more security than four-digit PINs.

RUB's Philipp Markert said although a four-digit PIN can be used to create 10,000 different combinations and a six-digit PIN can be used to create 1 million, users prefer simple combinations that often fail to exploit six-digit PINs' full potential.

The study also concluded that four and six-digit PINs are less secure than passwords, but more secure than pattern locks.

From Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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