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Secure passwords can be sent through your body, instead of air 2016

Posted by Mohammad Ajmal on 12:56 PM in ,

Secure passwords can be sent through your body, instead of air 2016


Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
Engineers have 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 WiFi or Bluetooth means anyone can eavesdrop, making those transmissions vulnerable to hackers who can attempt to break the encrypted code.
Now, University of Washington computer scientists and electrical engineers 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, UW 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.
This new technique, which leverages the signals already generated by fingerprint sensors on smartphones and laptop touchpads to transmit data in new ways, is described in a paper presented in September at the 2016 Association for Computing Machinery's International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016) in Germany.


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