Day: January 28, 2020

Are Biometrics The Future Of Security?

Biometric security is rapidly emerging into mobile technology and today, 57% of apps feature a biometric login option.

Biometric security uses physical and behavioral markers to identify authorized users and detect impostors. 46% of Americans use biometrics because they are more secure and 70% of Americans say biometrics are easier than traditional security.

Since 2013, the global biometrics market has risen to become a $14-billion industry. On top of using biometrics to secure their devices, biometric payments have become the next hot thing with consumers.

About 86% of Americans choose biometrics in verifying their identities or approving payments.  With that, it’s easy to find yourself asking if the safety of biometrics is better than passwords and PINs.

Thanks to the rise in biometric payments, 48% of Americans have used this technology.

To paint a better picture, imagine approving an Apple Pay, Venmo, Cash App or Google Pay transaction with your fingerprint.

Convenient and safe, right?

That’s the same reason why about 42% of Americans refuse to use banking apps that don’t have biometric authentication. 63% say they prefer this technology when physically shopping, too.

Interestingly enough, 80% of those with iPhones use biometrics, 25% of Android users, 12% of laptop users, and 11% of tablet users do the same. Regarding preference, 63% of Americans default to fingerprint scanners, 14% prefer facial recognition, 8% prefer the old ways of doing things, and 2% use voice recognition as often as possible.

Biometrics don’t just rely on your physical traits.

The technology also analyzes your behaviors for authentication. Your face, fingerprints, retinas, and voice are among the physical identifiers mentioned in the definition.

How, when, and where you use your device, how you hold it, how you move, and how frequently you use your device are examples of behavioral identifiers embedded into biometric security.

biometrics safety

46 of Americans feel biometrics are more secure.

So, what makes them so tough to hack?

For one, biometric security isn’t standardized. Each device requires a unique approach to use. It requires a unique approach to hacking.

This means biometrics take far longer to hack into than passwords. With it being difficult to go unnoticed in biometric hacking attempts, hackers must act wisely. Creating a fake to dupe the biometric system is possible but requires large amounts of user data — despite what you’ve seen in the movies.

On this note, it’s undeniable that it looks easy to hack this type of technology in the movies. Sean Connery was able to fool a scan in the 1971 movie Diamonds Are Forever and Ethan Hawke bypassed a blood test in Gattaca (1997).

Real-life instances of duping biometrics have occurred.

Let’s discuss:

Masks can be used to trick facial recognition biometric software, unlocking a device or granting access to information/applications. A cybersecurity firm in Vietnam called Bkav used a 3-D printed mask, paper tape, and silicone to crack facial recognition. Siblings, a mother, a son, and even distant cousins have also been able to unlock each other’s iPhones using Face ID.

Photos can also do the trick literally.

Certain Android devices have been shown to be fooled by just holding up a photo or another device showing a photo. This includes devices from manufacturers including Motorola, Samsung, Huawei, and Sony.

Fingerprints — what 63% prefer to register into biometrics — can also be faked. The latest top-of-the-line Samsung smartphone boasts an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. While this technology is hailed as less hackable than other similar technologies, 3-D printed fingerprints have been shown to do the trick.

safety of biometrics fingerprint

Here is a scenario in which biometric sensors can be easily hacked:

When your face doesn’t unlock your phone, this raises a prompt for the user password. A correct code prompts the software to update its facial metrics. Unfortunately, if someone, such as a family member or close relative, looks like you and aware of your password, the software could eventually be programmed to recognize them instead of you.

See Also: 6 Foolproof Tips for Creating Powerful Passwords

Final Words

Although the safety of biometrics is  better than traditional passwords, using the technology doesn’t make your device bulletproof. Using 2-step authentication, choosing the best technology, knowing how your security fails, and proper supervision can help you maximize your security.

To read more on biometric security, check out the infographic below.
Biometric Security
Source: Computer Science Zone

The post Are Biometrics The Future Of Security? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

InterviewBit secures $20M to grow its advanced online computer science program in India

InterviewBit, a Bangalore-based startup that runs an advanced online computer science program for college graduates and young professional engineers, has raised $20 million in one of the largest Series A financing rounds in the education sector.

The nine-month-old startup’s Series A round was led by Sequoia India, Tiger Global and Global Founders Capital among others, it said. The startup said it is also rebranding its online coding program, earlier called InterviewBit Academy, to Scaler Academy.

InterviewBit operates on an income-sharing model, where students have the option to pay after they have landed a job. The concept, also known as human capital contract, has been around for decades but is beginning to see some traction now.

The startup said more than 2,000 students have enrolled in its six-month program to date. It had received over 200,000 applications. And “several hundred” of those who enrolled in the program have landed jobs at tech companies such Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Students enrolled in Scaler Academy are mentored and taught by tech leaders and subject matter experts working with organisations including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix.

The startup, which is part of Sequoia India’s Surge accelerator program, will use the new fund to scale up its enrollment and launch in new markets. It also plans to invest in its curriculum and in live teaching product.

Indian newspaper Times of India first reported about the financing round last year, and said the round would value InterviewBit at over $100 million.

“Within a short period of time, Scaler Academy has made a huge impact on the capabilities of our students, who spend, on average 4-5 hours/day on our online and live learning platform,” said Abhimanyu Saxena, co-founder of InterviewBit. “We are very excited that our work results in a step function change in the careers of our students — and so we have rebranded it to Scaler Academy, a platform for pursuing excellence in software programming.”

A recent National Employability Report Engineers 2019 report highlighted that the employability of Indian engineers continues to be as low as 20%. “With that in mind, Scaler Academy’s meticulously structured 6-month online program effectively enhances the coding skills of professionals by creating a modern curriculum with exposure to the latest technologies,” the startup said.

Take a detailed video tour of the International Space Station with your new space dads

Take a detailed video tour of the International Space Station with your new space dads

2020 marks 20 years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station, and it has evolved significantly over the decades. On Sunday, the European Space Agency released an ISS tour video hosted by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Drew Morgan, who point out every detail like a pair of house proud dads FaceTiming their kids.

Filmed around New Year’s Day, this is the first time a tour of the ISS has been shot with two astronauts presenting, as well as the first time it’s been done in one take. The hour-long video isn’t one continuous shot though, switching between the two cameras Parmitano and Morgan used to film. Read more…

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