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Startups

Mobile, USB may replace your Google passwords

22 Jan, 2013
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Search engine giant Google is working on a concept by which passwords can be replaced by physical objects, such as USB keys, mobile phones and even jewellery, according to a report.

The new revolutionary technology will allow users to access their Google accounts with USB 'keys' and even a ring with a wireless chip and automatically log in users without asking for a password, according to the report published in Mail Online last week.

It is believed that Google has successfully experimented with wireless chips that are built into some mobile phones and can even be built in jewellery.

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According to the report, Google vice president of Security Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank Upadhyay are experimenting on the new concept and are set to publish their findings next month.

"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," the Google executives wrote in a paper published in IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine, the report said.

How it works:

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To log in, users simply place the tiny USB drive into their computer.

There are two options. One option uses a tiny USB key called a YubiKey and another uses a'smartcard-embedded' finger ring to authorise a new computer via a tap on the computer.

When the users plug the key into a laptop, they are automatically logged into all of their Google accounts, without ever having to type in a password. The USB keys can be placed on a keychain, and are similar to the identity readers/scanners required by many banks in foreign countries to allow people to log into their online accounts.

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(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)