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8/12/2014
03:25 PM
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas
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6 Biometric Factors That Are Working Today

From fingerprints to wearable ECG monitors, there are real options in the market that may relegate the despised password to the dustbin of history.
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Cardiac Rhythm

Anyone who has visited a friend or loved one in a hospital is familiar with electrocardiogram (ECG) readings. While there is nothing groundbreaking about ECGs, what is putting them on the biometric map are tiny sensing devices than can connect your unique heart activity and electrical signals to wearable systems such as a Nymi wristband, which can recognize an individual based on his distinct cardiac rhythm.

How does Nymi work? According to a company whitepaper, the same electrical signal that doctors read can be picked up by simple connection to the wrists and hands. The basic requirement is two points of contact that cross the heart to complete a circuit. The device does not collect medically valid ECG information, but it is sufficient for biometric authentication as well as heart rate monitoring, according to Nymi.

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Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 3:53:37 PM
correct me if I'm wrong
Cool stuff, Marilyn. I just wanted to verify: in order for palm vein scanners to work, the blood needs to be flowing, right? Therefore an attacker wouldn't be able to authenticate if they chopped off the legitimate user's hand. Right? 
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 3:57:59 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
You've stumped me on that one Sara! (pun intended)... I'm #scratchingmyhead tryng to envision the scenario you've just described. Interesting plot for a horror flick though!
Sara Peters
50%
50%
Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 4:05:35 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Check it out: http://www.biometricnewsportal.com/palm_biometrics.asp "In addition, the sensor of the palm vein device can only recognize the pattern if the deoxidized hemoglobin is actively flowing within the individual's veins." In other words, the blood's got to be flowing.

And Marilyn this whole chopping fingers off to use fingerprint scanners isn't just my own gruesome brainchild. It happened in Malaysia years ago: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4396831.stm

Luckily, some fingerprint scanners -- like the one on the new iphone -- only work if the finger is attached to a live body, because they detect the electricity emitted by a person's living body. http://www.webpronews.com/no-you-cant-use-a-disembodied-finger-to-get-past-the-iphone-5s-fingerprint-scanner-2013-09
Marilyn Cohodas
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50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 4:08:29 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Truth is indeed stranger than fiction! thx for the gory details. 
Sara Peters
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50%
Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 4:10:36 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
If I ever have a car that requires a palm vein scanner, I'll make sure I have the appropriate literature to hand to thieves when they think about taking my hand with them, and leaving me behind.
Marilyn Cohodas
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50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 4:12:20 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
good plan. Just print out this blog and message thread and put it in your wallet near your driver's license and credit cards. 
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 4:21:54 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
The ultimate solution - unique DNA identification. Think Gattaca.
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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50%
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 5:24:19 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
I'm waiting for that eyeball scanner. So done with passwords.
Kelly Jackson Higgins
50%
50%
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 5:41:04 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
I'm going to have nightmares about that one. =)
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 6:10:44 PM
Username / password old school
Thank you for sharing this article. Very informative. Username / password for credentialing will become old school very soon. We are already using picture password and two factor authentication more and more in critical systems. I am looking for those days that we can make authentication more easier for end users.
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