Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Cybercrime Security Solutions More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
Security Solutions
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Motorola
Motorola's 'Wearable' Security: A Pill or a Tattoo

By Barry Levine
May 31, 2013 10:46AM

Bookmark and Share
To assuage all who worry that Google is driving us toward a pill-taking, tattooed future, Motorola's Regina Dugan assured that, if and when such technology actually emerged into the consumer or business marketplace -- something that could take years to happen -- tattoos or pills would remain optional password choices for secure authentication.
 


Do you have trouble remembering your many passwords? The former head of the Pentagon's next-generation research group is working on a solution: a temporary tattoo or a pill, either of which take the place of a password.

At a technology conference in California this week, Regina Dugan, now head of the advanced technology and projects group at Google-owned Motorola Mobility, mentioned two research and development projects under way at the company. In one, a tattoo with an electronically generated bar-code-like image is placed on someone's arm. She displayed an example on her arm, with the tattoo applied via a transparent sticker.

The tattoo -- actually, "sticker" might be a more accurate label -- includes sensors and an antenna that can recognize your devices, after which it sends out an authenticating signal. The tattoo technology is made by a Cambridge, Mass.-based company called MC10, with which Motorola is partnering. MC10 specializes in products that utilize its stretchable circuits.

18-Bit Signal

But perhaps a tattoo, even a temporarily-applied one, might clash with your summer wardrobe. Dugan, who headed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 2009 to 2012, has another, tattoo-less project in the works for password-challenged users -- a pill.

This authentication pill includes a small chip, and it derives its power from electrolytes inside one's stomach. The pill generates an 18-bit signal, which acts as the authenticator. It's not yet clear on what frequency cycle the pill would need to be ingested. According to news reports, the pill has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

To assuage all who worry that Google is driving us toward a pill-taking, tattooed future, Dugan assured the gathered audience that Google has promised that, if and when such technology actually emerged into the consumer or business marketplace -- something that could take years to happen -- tattoos or pills would remain optional choices for authentication. For Dugan and Motorola, by the way, both of these projects fall under the heading of wearable computers.

Two-Factor Authentication

Brad Shimmin, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, noted that these solutions are attempting to address two separate problems -- the security of passwords for logins, and the need for users to remember or keep track of multiple passwords.

On the first score, Shimmin questioned whether either the tattoo/sticker or the pill increased security, since their signals could potentially be detected by nearby hackers, or the login credentials otherwise grabbed in some way, such as by hacking a database of passwords. He wondered why either of these was more secure than, say, two-factor authentication, where a user logs in with a user name and password, and then a second password is sent by the system to the user via another channel, such as a code sent to the user's phone. The second password is then entered, to complete the authentication. If tattoos/stickers or pills were used, they could become the second factor.

Shimmin also pointed out that it would seem to be "safer to have multiple passwords" for separate accounts, including multiple two-factor logins, so a successful hack would only jeopardize one or a few accounts.

The other driver in new password systems is the hassle factor of remembering multiple passwords. Shimmin noted that biometrics could make a comeback, with better systems and wider usage this time around. Biometrics, using such built-in biological identity information as fingerprints or voice prints, could also become a second factor without requiring users to keep a sticker on their arm or a pill in their stomach.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Security Solutions
1.   Gartner Rates IT Security Companies
2.   Apple Updates Mavericks, iOS 7
3.   Focus on Security in New Dell Products
4.   New Pass Codes You Can't Forget
5.   BlackBerry BBM Boosts Security


advertisement
Gartner Rates IT Security Companies
IBM, HP, McAfee, Splunk ranked well.
Average Rating:
Apple Updates Mavericks, iOS 7
Another failed attempt by Apple?
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions of Users at Risk
Having this fake ID is nothing to brag about, even if you are a minor. The “Fake ID” Android flaw drops malware into smartphone apps. It can steal credit card data and even take over your device.
 
FTC Wants Fix for 'Perfect Scam' of Mobile Cramming
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidelines to curb “mobile cramming,” a troublesome practice that adds unauthorized third-party charges to mobile phone bills.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Cybercrime | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.