Wednesday, November 30, 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

    Arianna Huffington Signs Off At The Huffington Post

    Arianna Huffington Signs Off At The Huffington Post

    Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post's editor-in-chief, announced Thursday that she's leaving to head a new health, wellbeing and productivity startup.

    Arianna Huffington Signs Off At The Huffington Post

    Battle Of Basel: Pokemon Strike Back In Swiss Viral Video

    BERLIN — If you go down to the Rhine today, you're in for a big surprise.

    Battle Of Basel: Pokemon Strike Back In Swiss Viral Video

    In A Sign Of Broader Ambitions, Facebook Opens Hardware Lab

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook built its fortune on the internet, that non-physical space where people share updates and digital videos with friends. 

    In A Sign Of Broader Ambitions, Facebook Opens Hardware Lab

    Pokemon Statue Appears In New Orleans Park

    Pokemon Statue Appears In New Orleans Park

    Amid the craze over virtual characters in the smartphone-based "Pokemon Go" game, a Pokemon that people can see with their own eyes is grabbing attention in New Orleans.

    Pokemon Statue Appears In New Orleans Park

    Shopify Q2 Results Beat Estimates; Loss Smaller, Revenue Higher Than Expected

    OTTAWA — Shopify Inc. posted another loss in its second quarter but continued to ramp up its online business as it nearly doubled revenue from the same time last year.

    Shopify Q2 Results Beat Estimates; Loss Smaller, Revenue Higher Than Expected

    Blackberry Launches Hub+ On Google Play Store To Lure Android Users

    The company is releasing BlackBerry Hub+, a suite of applications that includes a unified inbox, password keeper and calendar, among other features.

    Blackberry Launches Hub+ On Google Play Store To Lure Android Users