Virtual Reality presents novel challenges but also opportunities for Usable Security. In our work we are interested in two aspects:

Novel authentication mechanisms: Virtual reality (VR) headsets are enabling a wide range of new opportunities for the user. For example, in the near future users may be able to visit virtual shopping malls and virtually join international conferences. These and many other scenarios pose new questions with regards to privacy and security, in particular authentication of users within the virtual environment. In our work we investigate how such mechanisms can be designed.

Virtual Reality as Research Method: Introducing novel authentication mechanisms into new settings and testing them may pose considerable challenges to researchers. For example, consider a gaze-based authentication system in a smart home where the password consists of looking at the last three used home appliances. While equipping user and home with the required gaze and object tracking technology requires considerable effort, such a mechanism can easily be prototyped in VR. In particular, our work focuses on how we can leverage VR to serve as test bed for ecologically valid studies of novel authentication concept


george2017usec.jpg Ceenu George, Mohamed Khamis, Marinus Burger, Henri Schmidt, Florian Alt and Heinrich Hussmann. Seamless and Secure VR: Adapting and Evaluating Established Authentication Systems for Virtual Reality. In Proceedings of the Usable Security Mini Conference 2017. Internet Society, San Diego, CA, USA. [Download Bibtex]