Who's Got My Keys?

Newsweek International Edition

In Who's Got My Keys?, Newsweek's John Sparks hopes that

By the end of the decade, biometric security measures could put the keyloggers out of business

Sorry - biometrics are of little use in protecting transactions from a home PC. You can steal the input from a biometric device just as easily as from a keyboard.

While my password is secret, my biometrics are more or less public. My fingerprints are all over the place, my DNA can be picked up from my coffee cup.

I do not use the same password at my bank and on suspect discussion boards. But I only have two eyes, once I have used my retina to identify at one site, that site can impersonate me at another.

While we wait for a total remake of input device security in the operating systems, one-time passwords provide a low-tech, but much safer solution than biometrics. One-time passwords can be stolen by hand, but not wholesale by spyware.

tags: keylogger security biometrics


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