Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gmail: Tap your finger ring to log in

Passwords are Mystery and Google wants to make it a history. No, they are not developing any third party app to manage your passwords, they want to replace it completely.
In a research by the search giant, the firm's security experts are experimenting with USB keys, mobile phones and even jewelery that can act as a physical key to give users access to their accounts.


Google's vice-president of security Eric Groose and an Indian engineer Mayank Upadhyay will detail 'How it will work' in the upcoming issue of IEEE Secuity & Privacy Magazine. The team wrote in their paper - "Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe", according to technology publication Wired.

The experiment is believed to be targeting USB drives and NFC technology that already comes built into some mobile phones and can even be built into jewellery.

“We’d like your smartphone or smartcard-embedded finger ring to authorise a new computer through a tap on the computer, even in situations in which your phone might be without cellular connectivity,” the team revealed.

We all have tens of accounts online, then we also have passwords for certain offline softwares. As the time progresses it's becoming difficult to choose a strong password and to remember it. We wrote our passwords on our diaries, then we moved forward and wrote them in memos on our phones. Currently we use utility softwares to store our passwords in a more secure and managable way. But just imagine how easy it would get if we just attach a USB and we are signed in on all our accounts. No more remembering and typing. And for the devices which supports NFC you just have to tap your finger ring and you are in!



Like me, you would wondering, what if the ring is lost? The educated thieves will get a dual benefit! The firm is believed to be addressing this obvious problem. It is thought to be developing a simple system to replace them. Moreover, the firm agrees to the fact that making this system adaptable on a large scale would require a huge amount of support from the websites. The team also wrote “Others have tried similar approaches but achieved little success in the consumer world".

The team is confident enough to make it a common way of logging in, but we would have to wait and watch to make out if it's acceptable on a large-scale or it's just another experiment.

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