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In Defense Of Passwords
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User Rank: Author
9/17/2014 | 4:08:26 PM
Re: passwords
I didn't have time to talk much about Biometrics, in order to keep the article short, but I'm not an overly huge fan of them. I think biometrics make a good second token, but you shouldn't rely on them allone... Here's why... While it is harder to steal a biometric.... it is possible... There has been many research examples of pulling fingerprints and using latex to recreate them, etc. This is harder, since you have to physically pull a print from somewhere, but it's possible. Also, as I mentioned in the artlcle, the big problem isn't just bad passwrods, it's that bad guys stole password hashes from databases. Biometrics aren't stored as a full copy of a fingerprint, but a digital equivilent.. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually hackers learned to steal this digital equivilents, and reply them. Finally, the main problem with biometrics is there can only be lost once, and then they are worthless. You can change your password but you can't change your fingerprint... if someone pulled your print and could use that to defeat a biometric, you'd have to stop using that fingerprint forever and move to something else...

So again, biometrics make a great additional token, but I think they'd have issues if used as the only authentication mechanism.



User Rank: Author
9/17/2014 | 4:11:23 PM
Re: passwords
Thomas, Yes! That is a great point, and one I didn't really make strong enough in the article. What alternative is there? Many have said, "passwords are dead" but they don't really present alternatives that are significantly better.... For instance, biometrics. They have they're own problems (can be copied/stolen too, and once lost, can never be used again)... Until someone actually shares an alternative that really is effective, I think blaming the password, rather than our insecure use of them, is the wrong message.
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