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The secure “pairing” of wireless devices based on out-of-band communication is an established research direction. Unfortunately, this approach is prone to human errors that lead to man-in-the-middle attacks. To address this and to better motivate users, this paper proposes the use of computer games for pairing. Games make the pairing process enjoyable and engaging, thus improving its usability and security. The technical contribution of this work is a new pairing system called “Alice Says.” This is a game that achieves pairing and is based on the memory game Simon. We also discuss the design and implementation of Alice Says. On a broader note, this paper also points to other security problems that are currently lacking optimal solutions and suggests how games and entertainment can be applied to improve them.
Date of Conference: 27-30 July 2011