News / Technology

Use your eyes to replace passwords BUT be aware

Password protection is so last century. Take a look at the future of security.

The goal of all biometrics is to spot what's unique about you. Today, that means using tech to recognize the distinctive characteristics of your eyes, fingers and voice.

You already know fingerprint readers, which are standard on many phones and tablets. But while current readers offer better security than passwords alone, they aren#39;t foolproof. Skilled hackers have been known to replicate fingerprints using high-resolution photos.

Fortunately, readers are getting more sophisticated. Now higher-definition imaging will reveal the pores in the skin, which appear as a series of dots between the finger#39;s ridges and grooves. That gives the image a sense of depth that#39;s harder -- though not impossible -- to forge.

Eye scanning is reaching the mainstream too. EyeVerify, for instance, works with your phone#39;s camera to examine the pattern of blood vessels in the whites of your eyes. Several banks and credit unions, including Republic Bank in Kentucky and Mountain America Credit Union in Utah, have added EyeVerify#39;s technology to their mobile-banking apps.

And Wells Fargo is adding EyeVerify as one of several biometric options for a select group of corporate customers who frequently wire large sums of money. For security reasons, the transaction currently forces users through a series of cumbersome log-in steps, including a continually changing PIN.

Earlier this year, MasterCard announced a new mobile app that lets customers identify themselves with selfies anytime they buy something online. And e-commerce giant filed for a patent that would let customers authorize purchases with a photo of themselves.

No biometric technology is 100 percent foolproof. One challenge they all face: telling the difference between real life and fakes. Today#39;s fingerprint readers and even eye scanners can be tricked by high-res photos.

Even your passthought could be reproduced if someone stole the math formula that represents your thought. That's a scenario that feels like something only high-value targets, such as heads of state, would have to worry about.

ref.: CNET Magazine

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