PGP Auth: Using Public Key Encryption for Authentication on the Web

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.


Wueppelmann, Derek




The majority of authentication systems use text passwords, as they provide a flexible method of authenticating on a wide variety of devices. Unfortunately, having suffi- ciently strong passwords does not protect users against phishing or offline guessing attacks. In this thesis, we present a new authentication mechanism that uses PGP.

We iteratively designed PGP Auth, implemented it, and conducted user testing. Users rated the software highly and indicated that they would be very likely to use the software. They also liked the idea of having a single password to access their accounts and appreciated the security of using PGP as an authentication system.

We believe that with a refined user interface, PGP Auth is a viable authentication mechanism that addresses many of the security vulnerabilities of traditional text password authentication. We also provide recommendations to aid in the development of future versions of PGP Auth based on our results.


Computer Science




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Computer Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Human-Computer Interaction

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

Items in CURVE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. They are made available with permission from the author(s).