Tag Archives | passwords

The Police And Fingerprint-Based Security

fingerprintThe Chaos Computer Club on why authorities are in love with biometrically unlockable devices:

“It is plain stupid to use something that you can’t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token”, said Frank Rieger, spokesperson of the CCC. “The public should no longer be fooled by the biometrics industry with false security claims. Biometrics is fundamentally a technology designed for oppression and control, not for securing everyday device access.” Fingerprint biometrics in passports has been introduced in many countries despite the fact that no security gain can be shown.

iPhone users should avoid protecting sensitive data with their precious biometric fingerprint not only because it can be easily faked, as demonstrated by the CCC team. You can easily be forced to unlock your phone against your will when being arrested. Forcing you to give up your passcode is much harder under most jurisdictions than just casually swiping your phone over your handcuffed hands.

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Motorola Aiming To Replace Smartphone Passwords With Electronic Tattoos

biostampsIf you’re concerned about the mark of the beast, this has to be worrying. Via the Telegraph:

Initially designed for medical purposes, Motorola hopes the ‘Biostamps’ could now be used for consumer authentication purposes.

The technology, which aims to remove the need to enter passwords and replace them simply with a phone being close to a user’s body, was one of the suggestions by Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s chief executive, at California’s D11 conference yesterday.

Nokia has previously experimented with integrating tattoos into mobile phones, and Motorola’s senior vice president of advance research, Regina Dugan, a former head of the US Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, demonstrated the silicon-based technology that uses bendable electronic circuits.

The tattoos have been developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, and contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer’s skin using a rubber stamp.

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Researchers Successfully Use Subjects’ Brain Waves As Personal Identifiers

brain wavesIn coming years, allowing a machine to momentarily observe your mental activity may be the key to open your email account or front door. Via Dark Reading:

It sounds like something straight out of science fiction: brainwaves taking the place of passwords in the name of authentication. A new study by researchers from the U.C. Berkeley School of Information examined the brainwave signals of individuals performing specific actions to see whether they can be consistently matched to the right individual.

Participants were asked to imagine performing a repetitive motion from a sport of their choice, singing a song, watching a series of on-screen images and silently counting the objects, or choose their own thought and focus on it for 10 seconds.

To measure the subjects’ brainwaves, the team used the NeuroSky Mindset, a Bluetooth headset that records Electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. In the end, the team was able to match the brainwave signals with 99 percent accuracy.

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Security Questions, Market Research, Or Something Else?

Email providers, banks, and other entities commonly and increasingly use knowledge-based security questions as a backup or addition to simple passwords, for your own security. Or at least that’s what they say the purpose is. Should you really be revealing these things to someone whom you don’t know? From the New Aesthetic:

What Apple would like to know about you. (Screenshots by Chris H.) These are Apple’s new security questions for iOS. I thought the London 2012 site ones – “What’s your favourite colour?” “Who’s your best friend?” were bad enough.

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Hacked List Of Passwords Shows ’1234546′ Is Most Popular Choice

Might as well load up on stories from the New York Times as it has announced plans to "meter" usage and limit free online access to its content (at least for now - it's not the first time the Times has tried charging for some content). If this story doesn't tell you to change your passwords now, nothing will:
Back at the dawn of the Web, the most popular account password was “12345.” Today, it’s one digit longer but hardly safer: “123456.” Despite all the reports of Internet security breaches over the years, including the recent attacks on Google’s e-mail service, many people have reacted to the break-ins with a shrug. According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like “abc123,” “iloveyou” or even “password” to protect their data...
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