Monday, October 29, 2007

Amazing Authentication

I came across this amazingly done authentication for website on net the other day.

My brother is in finance company. He has got account in this news site. He has got a user ID password the usual and a card.
The card is of the size of credit card and it got a small screen and a small window, couple of holes and a button. You have to press the button to start the card. Then press your thumb in the finger print window. Not the whole thumb just part of it. The Card will check the print and will go in Sync mode if it is correct print.

Now log on the site with user id and password. On the site the similar card like your will start flashing. Hold your card in front of it. The card will synchronize itself and will show you a 4 digit no. in the small screen it has. You have to type this no. on the site and then you are in.

What really caught my fancy are few things:
1. The site applies two way authentication very cleverly
2. The card validates the print. That would mean you don’t have to carry the device for taking finger print at all places.
Let’s say you go in a cafĂ© which does not have this device then you are stuck. Not with the card. You don’t need the device.
3. I don’t know if the site keeps database with all finger prints. But validation through card has removed any need of such database. Generally any individual will be very wary of having his fingerprint with some other company. Lest the security is not enough, if the print gets stolen. N no. of possibilities. Plus card authorizing the print also means that the print will not be sent any where through wire. No chance for hackers.
4. How the card synchronizes with site is a question. My guess was the card has photo sensors. Which detect the sequence in which card on site flashes and presents you with a 4 digit no. This is really cool use of technology. Never seen any software using such technique so effectively!
I later found the card uses BUnit personal authentication device. More about it on:

All in all cool use of technology!

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