Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Computer Science


Haining Wang


As online business has been very popular in the past decade, the tasks of providing user authentication and verification have become more important than before to protect user sensitive information from malicious hands. The most common approach to user authentication and verification is the use of password. However, the dilemma users facing in traditional passwords becomes more and more evident: users tend to choose easy-to-remember passwords, which are often weak passwords that are easy to crack. Meanwhile, behavioral biometrics have promising potentials in meeting both security and usability demands, since they authenticate users by "who you are", instead of "what you have". In this dissertation, we first develop two such user verification applications based on behavioral biometrics: the first one is via mouse movements, and the second via tapping behaviors on smartphones; then we focus on modeling user web browsing behaviors by Fitts' Law.;Specifically, we develop a user verification system by exploiting the uniqueness of people's mouse movements. The key feature of our system lies in using much more fine-grained (point-by-point) angle-based metrics of mouse movements for user verification. These new metrics are relatively unique from person to person and independent of the computing platform. We conduct a series of experiments to show that the proposed system can verify a user in an accurate and timely manner, and induced system overhead is minor. Similar to mouse movements, the tapping behaviors of smartphone users on touchscreen also vary from person to person. We propose a non-intrusive user verification mechanism to substantiate whether an authenticating user is the true owner of the smartphone or an impostor who happens to know the passcode. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is validated through real experiments. to further understand user pointing behaviors, we attempt to stress-test Fitts' law in the "wild", namely, under natural web browsing environments, instead of restricted laboratory settings in previous studies. Our analysis shows that, while the averaged pointing times follow Fitts' law very well, there is considerable deviations from Fitts' law. We observe that, in natural browsing, a fast movement has a different error model from the other two movements. Therefore, a complete profiling on user pointing performance should be done in more details, for example, constructing different error models for slow and fast movements. as future works, we plan to exploit multiple-finger tappings for smartphone user verification, and evaluate user privacy issues in Amazon wish list.



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