Thursday, May 13, 2021

Will Your Next Password Be a Ring?

Google researchers are working on developing technology that could one day replace passwords. In a paper due to be published later this month, they speculate that smartphones or even a special ring could authenticate users instead.

Wired’s Robert McMillan wrote, “Want an easier way to log into your Gmail account? How about a quick tap on your computer with the ring on your finger? This may be closer than you think. Google’s security team outlines this sort of ring-finger authentication in a new research paper, set to be published late this month in the engineering journal IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine. In it, Google Vice President of Security Eric Grosse and Engineer Mayank Upadhyay outline all sorts of ways they think people could wind up logging into websites in the future — and it’s about time.”

VentureBeat quoted the Google researchers, who said, “Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe.”

The Telegraph’s Christopher Williams added, “Grosse and Upadhyay said they are currently experimenting with YubiKey, a tiny USB stick that implements highly secure ‘one time pad’ cryptography to log in to Google services, as a replacement for passwords. In the future, they want similar authentication technology to work wirelessly and across all of a person’s online accounts.”

ZDNet quoted the researchers as saying, “We’d like your smartphone or smartcard-embedded finger ring to authorize a new computer via a tap on the computer, even in situations in which your phone might be without cellular connectivity.”

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