Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Password will survive if biometrics become popular

You may be annoyed to remember enormous kinds of passwords for internet services. It is not easy to manage several passwords secure. Also, in some websites, you are requested to change the password regularly. If you fail to input the correct password, you have to reset it, to be replaced with a new one. It makes you harder to remember the current password.

There are some ways to release you from this troublesome issue. Some applications let you administer many passwords through only one password. Nowadays, several web services are connectable to Google, Yahoo, Facebook, or other popular internet services. It also helps you to reduce the number of passwords to be remembered. However, they share a shortcoming: if this one integrated service allows an intruder, everything will be lost.

You may imagine another solution. Biometrics. Newest iPhone and some other smartphone equip fingerprint sensor. You have only to touch the panel to log in.

As well as fingerprint, face recognition seems desirable as a method of identification. Different from a fingerprint, it does not require additional devices than a CCD camera, which is equipped with almost all laptop PCs and smartphones. I used it with my smartphone a couple of years ago.

However, face recognition is a relatively weak method of identification. Computer analysis sometimes causes an error. Recently, Google image search engine misidentified a black woman as a gorilla. From my experience, a person with the same skin color and a similar length of hair of the original one had a chance to open the lock. On the contrary, if you cut hair, you would be rejected by the computer.

Furthermore, there is a possibility of fooling the security with a 3D image of a face. It has become not so difficult for a hacker to create a 3D image from some picture of the targeted person. And its quality may reach high enough to deceive the secure system.

Engadget: 3D faces based on Facebook photos can fool security systems

Facial recognition is a first ability for human, and has been used to keep security for many centuries. Now, this incredible skill is almost mimicked by the computer.

As a result, biometrics are no more secure than the passwords, although it has not been spread. Duplicating a face, or even a fingerprint, to break the security, is now feasible. And of course, they are much more easily stolen than passwords. Your fingerprint can be collected immediately after you leave a café.

ITProPortal: Why biometrics are less secure than passwords

It is ironic that biometrics is more vulnerable than traditional passwords. You will not be free from administering several meaningless chains of characters.

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