Saturday, October 1, 2022
ADVT 
Tech

'Passwords Sent Via Human Body Rather Than Air More Safe'

Darpan News Desk IANS, 28 Sep, 2016 11:31 AM
    A team of Indian-American engineers has devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body using smartphone fingerprint sensors and laptop touchpads -- rather than over the air where they're vulnerable to hacking.
     
    Sending a password or secret code over airborne radio waves like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth means anyone can eavesdrop, making those transmissions vulnerable to hackers who can attempt to break the encrypted code.
     
    Now, computer scientists and electrical engineers from Seattle-based University of Washington have devised a way to send secure passwords through the human body -- using benign, low-frequency transmissions generated by fingerprint sensors and touchpads on consumer devices.
     
    "Fingerprint sensors have so far been used as an input device. What is cool is that we've shown for the first time that fingerprint sensors can be re-purposed to send out information that is confined to the body," said senior author Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering.
     
    These "on-body" transmissions offer a more secure way to transmit authenticating information between devices that touch parts of your body -- such as a smart door lock or wearable medical device -- and a phone or device that confirms your identity by asking you to type in a password.
     
    "Let's say I want to open a door using an electronic smart lock," said co-lead author Merhdad Hessar, an electrical engineering doctoral student. "I can touch the doorknob and touch the fingerprint sensor on my phone and transmit my secret credentials through my body to open the door, without leaking that personal information over the air."
     
    The research team tested the technique on iPhone and other fingerprint sensors, as well as Lenovo laptop trackpads and the Adafruit capacitive touchpad. 
     
    In tests with 10 different subjects, they were able to generate usable on-body transmissions on people of different heights, weights and body types. 
     
    The system also worked when subjects were in motion -- including while they walked and moved their arms.
     
    "We showed that it works in different postures like standing, sitting and sleeping," said co-lead author Vikram Iyer, electrical engineering doctoral student. "We can also get a strong signal throughout your body. The receivers can be anywhere -- on your leg, chest, hands -- and still work."
     
    The technology could also be useful for secure key transmissions to medical devices such as glucose monitors or insulin pumps, which seek to confirm someone's identity before sending or sharing data.
     
    The new technique was described in a paper presented at the 2016 Association for Computing Machinery's International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016) in Germany this month.

    MORE Tech ARTICLES

    Are Google Glass, Note 7 Tech Failures Of Recent Times?

    As we enter a technology era where Next-Gen devices are launched every single day, some are bound to fail as they don't connect with consumers -- while a few will be remembered as being ahead of their time. 

    Are Google Glass, Note 7 Tech Failures Of Recent Times?

    Information On At Least 500 Million Yahoo User Accounts Stolen

    The breach disclosed Thursday, the latest setback for the beleaguered internet company, dates back to late 2014.

    Information On At Least 500 Million Yahoo User Accounts Stolen

    Facebook Hires Anand Chandrasekaran To Help Messenger App Grow

    Facebook Hires Anand Chandrasekaran To Help Messenger App Grow
    Based out of Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters, Chandrasekaran will focus on building strategies and partnerships for Messenger which hit one billion users in July this year.

    Facebook Hires Anand Chandrasekaran To Help Messenger App Grow

    Review: The iPhone 7 Is Just Fine, Even If It Doesn't Wow

    Review: The iPhone 7 Is Just Fine, Even If It Doesn't Wow

    Apple's new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are clearly improvements on their predecessors — even if the biggest change is actually an omission (of the traditional headphone jack). But are they improved enough to justify an upgrade?

    Review: The iPhone 7 Is Just Fine, Even If It Doesn't Wow

    Canadians Asked How To Help Cultural Industries Deal With Digital Onslaught

    The federal government faces "stark" differences of opinion over how best to help Canada's cultural industries adapt to the digital world, says an academic watching the unfolding of public consultations on the future of digital content.

    Canadians Asked How To Help Cultural Industries Deal With Digital Onslaught

    Tech Trend: Why We Need A Digital Heir After Death

    Tech Trend: Why We Need A Digital Heir After Death

    As most of us spend a considerable amount of time on various digital platforms -- Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, WhatsApp and the like -- a pertinent question now arises: What happens to our digital possessions once we die?

    Tech Trend: Why We Need A Digital Heir After Death

    PrevNext