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Keystroke Dynamics

Keystroke dynamics are the patterns of rhythm and timing created when a person types.

Keystroke dynamics include:

  • Overall speed
  • Variations of speed moving between specific keys.
  • Common errors.
  • The length of time that keys are depressed.


The roots of keystroke dynamics go back to the early days of the telegraph, when individuals developed distinctive patterns that identified them. This pattern was known as a telegraph operator's "fist." During World War II, a methodology known as the "fist of the sender" helped to identify the source of Morse code and confirm that a particular message was, in fact, from a valid source.

A typeprint is the characteristic keystroke dynamics of an individual; typeprint analysis is sometimes used as a password hardening component for two-factor authentication.

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