Password Grid Manual

PasswordGrid

Contents

  1. Install
    1. Requirements
    2. Install
    3. Windows SmartScreen warning
    4. Uninstall
  2. Settings
    1. Grid
    2. Path
      1. Example paths
    3. Time needed to try all
    4. Markings
  3. Drawing on grid
    1. Select grid size
    2. Drawing markings
    3. Deleting markings
  4. Calculating path count
    1. Calculating time
  5. Create random path
  6. Known bugs
  7. Future ideas
  8. Acknowledgment
    1. DCPcrypt
  9. License

Install

Requirements

Program has been tested to work with Windows 8 and Windows 10. Program should also work with earlier Windows versions, but this hasn't been tested.

Install

There is no install program. To install program just download files PasswordGrid32.exe and PasswordGrid32.dll and place them into any directory. Then just run PasswordGrid32.exe.

Windows SmartScreen warning

When running program for the first time, Windows 8 and Windows 10 can give warning about unrecognised application. To run program click on "More info" link and then "Run anyway" button.

This warning comes for two reasons: First I don't have digital certificate required to properly certify that program has been created by myself, and secondly because this program isn't widely enough used to be recognized as a known program without such certificate.

(I have asked about purchasing needed EV Code Signing Certificate, but unfortunately only companies can purchase it, not individual developers.)

Uninstall

To uninstall program just delete the two files you downloaded.

Settings

Grid

Rows and Columns sets the grid size you want to use. Changing these settings will remove any drawings already on grid.

Grids set the number of different grids you are using for creating passwords. This will be used to calculate proper path count. For example with 77 different grids there are 77 times the number of paths than with just one grid.

Path

These settings define which kinds of paths are counted when you calculate how many paths can be created from your grid(s).

Length is the number of cells on path. If path overlaps itself, each overlapping cell is only counted once.

Turns is the number of turns on path. With 0 turns path is just a straight line, with 1 turn path has two straight lines and so on.

Overlap% is the relative number of overlaps compared to path length. For example a path with length 10 and one overlap has overlap% of 10%.

Can overlap at end defines whether paths which overlaps at end are included or not.

For numeric values you can set both minimum and maximum value and program will count all paths within given limits.

Example paths

Nine example paths which all have length 10.

top left: 1 turn, no overlap
top middle: 2 turns, no overlap
top right: 3 turns, no overlap
middle left: 2 turns, 10% overlap, no overlap at end
middle middle: 3 turns, 10% overlap, has overlap at end
middle right: 3 turns, 10% overlap, has overlap at end
bottom left: 3 turns, 20% overlap, no overlap at end
bottom middle: 4 turns, 20% overlap, has overlap at end
bottom right: 4 turns, 20% overlap (twice at same cell), no overlap at end

Time needed to try all

When with random prefix is not selected, password is considered to be created directly from path, taking each cell once, so that password length will be same as path length.

When with random prefix is selected, password is created like above, but also has random prefix to make it stronger. Length is prefix length and Characters is the character set used to generate prefix.

Speed is the number of tries attacker can do per second.

Markings

Style sets the drawing style for all markings. Simple is basic style for normal use. Highlight emphasizes path direction by adding triangle to path start, emphasis to each turn and small dot at end. Numbers shows path direction by numbering each point which can be useful with complex overlaps.


Simple looks simple, but can't differentiate paths which just differ on path direction.


Highlight shows each path differently as long as overlaps aren't too complex.


Numbers doesn't look as nice but always shows different paths differently.

Drawing on grid

This feature allows you to brainstorm about different ways you can use hexagonal grid for selecting passwords.

Select grid size

First select the grid size you want using Rows and Columns settings. Note that changing these settings will delete any drawings already on grid.

Drawing markings

Click on grid with left mouse button to draw a dot. Click and drag to draw lines. When two lines start or end at same location they are automatically joined to form longer path. (This might not always do what you want, in such a case just remove the lines which are wrong and draw new ones.)

Deleting markings

To remove a dot or line, right click on it.

When you press down right mouse button the line which would be deleted is highlighted in red. When you release the button line is deleted. If you do not want to delete that line, move mouse to other cell before releasing button and highlighting changes to gray to show that you are canceling the deletion.

To remove all markings press Remove All button.

Calculating path count

This feature allows you to calculate how many different polyline paths can be created with current grid size and number of grids.

To calculate path count, select the settings you want. Path count is updated automatically.

Calculating time

This feature allows you to estimate password strength by calculating how long it would take from an attacker to try all possible combinations. This is just a rough guideline of password strength.

To calculate time, select the settings you want. Time is updated automatically.

Create random path

The Random button removes any existing paths and then creates one random path using Path-settings. This is generally quite fast but can take several seconds with long paths and large grids.

If With random prefix is selected then random prefix is also created and shown on status line.

<< and >> buttons gives previous/next path using internal path order and are mainly useful for debugging. They might be removed in the future.

Known bugs

Future ideas

Some future ideas, no promise if these will be implemented or not. If you would like to see specific feature implemented, whether it is listed here or not, please send email to malaire at gmail dot com about it.

Acknowledgment

Password Grid would not exist without several other projects. Thanks to ...

DCPcrypt

Password Grid uses few files from DCPcrypt under this license:

Copyright (c) 1999-2002 David Barton
Copyright (c) 1999-2003 David Barton

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

License

Password Grid is provided under following license, generally known as MIT License:

Copyright (c) 2015 Markus Laire

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.