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January 21, 2013

Google working on physical passwords

Google is testing the secure log-in mechanisms through YubiKey cryptographic USB card

By CBR Staff Writer

Google is reportedly working on developing physical passwords which could be embeded in USB keys, mobile phones and even jewellery, in a bid to replace passwords.

Since remembering complex passwords becoming a headache, the ring will confirm the user identity online, eliminating the need of remembering passwords.

The search giant is testing the secure log-in mechanisms through YubiKey cryptographic USB card, which allows plugging into computer and automatically sign in to Google account, with no additional authentication.

Google Security vice president Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank Upadhyay said in a joint statement that passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe.

"We’d like your smartphone or smartcard-embedded finger ring to authorize a new computer via a tap on the computer, even in situations in which your phone might be without cellular connectivity," both said.

Further, the USB Keys can also be placed on a keychains, and are similar to the ID readers in banks that allow people to log into their accounts.

Wired quoted Grosse as saying that there is a requirement of having some form of screen unlock, maybe passwords but maybe something else.

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"But the primary authenticator will be a token like this or some equivalent piece of hardware," Grosse said.

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