Now Send Secret Passwords through Your Body

Passwords are the most secret thing one can have. We don’t want anyone to get any information about our personal accounts or credentials. Mostly we are unwilling to send a password or secret code over the air waves such as WiFi or Bluetooth because it can be overheard by hackers. Now Send Secret Passwords through Your Body.

Now sending passwords won’t be a problem as researchers have invented a method to send safe passwords via the human body. It works by using benign, low-frequency transmissions generated by fingerprint sensors and touch pads on user devices.

Now Send Secret Passwords through Your Body

“I can touch the doorknob and touch the fingerprint sensor on my phone and transmit my secret credentials through my body to open the door.”

Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington revealed

“Fingerprint sensors have so far been used as an input device. What is cool is that we’ve shown for the first time that fingerprint sensors can be re-purposed to send out information that is confined to the body.”

These “on-body” conductions deliver a more secure method to transfer verifying material between devices that touch parts of your body like a smart door lock or wearable medical device and a phone or device that approves your identity by asking you to type in a password.

Gollakota explained the work in a paper presented at the 2016 Association for Computing Machinery’s International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016) in Germany.

Image Source: Vikram Iyer University of Washington

Merhdad Hessar, an electrical engineering doctoral student and co-lead author of the paper said,

“I can touch the doorknob and touch the fingerprint sensor on my phone and transmit my secret credentials through my body to open the door, without leaking that personal information over the air.”

The technique can be used with iPhone and other fingerprint sensors, as well as Lenovo laptop trackpads and the Adafruit capacitive touch pad. Researchers tested this technique with 10 different subjects. They were able to make working on-body transmissions on people of diverse heights, weights and body types. The system also worked with different postures.

The group examined smartphone sensors to recognize which phone produces low-frequency transmissions under 30 megahertz that transmits well via the human body but don’t spread over the air.

They found fingerprint sensors and touch pads make signals in the 2 to 10 megahertz range and employ capacitive combination to feel where your finger is in space, and to recognize the elevations and valleys that form exclusive fingerprint patterns. The technology could also be beneficial for secure key broadcasts to medical devices like glucose monitors or insulin pumps, which pursue to approve someone’s identity before directing or sharing information.

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