LAS VEGAS – Valt takes a novel approach to the issue of securing your password manager’s vault by using images, rather than text, to secure the information. Brent Heeringa, Co-Founder, gave us a demo and explains how their approach offers greater security.
A password manager, be it built into the operating system, or a third party product like LastPass or 1Password, have one thing in common: if someone discovers the master password that is used to protect your vault, all your other passwords are at risk. Valt believes its visually-oriented approach provides better password security.
Can You Pass the Visual Test?
When you start creating your vault, you’ll be shown a series of nine images, and be asked to click on a specific portion, say a nose on a face, to help you memorize it. These nine images are your master vault password. Once you selected the images, you’ll be tested with the same procedure that will be used to unlock your vault. Users are presented a grid with fifteen images, and asked to pick the three that are theirs. That’s repeated twice, meaning users must pick their 9 images out of a total of 45, making it markedly difficult to guess.
Once you’ve demonstrated to Valt that you’ve memorized the images, a random master password is generated. After this is done, you’ll be given a nine-character recovery code, which can unlock your vault if you forget your images.
Remember when we said Valt generates a random master password? Here’s where the visual part comes in. To unlock your vault, you must perform the same test used to set up your Valt. Users are shown a grid with fifteen images, and asked to select the three that are theirs. That’s then repeated twice. Selecting all nine of the correct images will generate the same random master password, and unlock your vault.
From this point on, Valt offers the same services you’d expect from a password manager, store the username and password of a site that you visit, and then automatically submit them when you want to access a site.
At this point, Valt is available as a macOS app, an iOS app, a Safari plugin, and a Chrome plugin.