back to article Bracelet could protect user herds from lurking PREDATORS

Researchers have developed a fashionable bracelet that could continuously authenticate users preventing snoops from accessing unattended machines. It goes beyond existing continuous authentication mechanisms, the designers say, because it requires users to be active on their machines and not just nearby. The Zero-Effort …

  1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Handcuffs?

    Am I missing something, or wouldn't you need one of these on each wrist, at which point you end up looking like you've just partially broken out of a pair of handcuffs?

    If it's going to sense/trace movement to confirm and correlate inputs to actions, then both wrists/hands would need to be tracked, especially if a touchscreen is also being used (rarer I know at the moment, but would still be needed). I know rodents are normally operated single-handedly, but typing is a two-handed experience for most people.

    And also one wonders how it differentiates actions that the valid person who should be using the terminal may make when they are sat at it but are not related to inputs? Or are they now not allowed to drink coffee or pick their noses?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Handcuffs?

      This is for jobs which require continuous proximity authentication. If you are in one of those, then handcufs on your wrists while doing your work will not be out of the ordinary (same as retina authentication to a device which has a gun connected to it to blow your brains out if it fails).

  2. John Robson Silver badge

    Can I still ask my friendly sys admin to tap in a password...

    so that I can get temporary access to a remote system?

    Or will it lock them out halfway through the typing phase?

  3. Owain 1
    Mushroom

    Neck

    I think it should be a collar worn round the neck, perhaps with some HE in it in case the user wanders too far away from their computer. If they do.. KABOOM. Or perhaps some sort of intestine based version, depending on which film analogy you prefer.

  4. frank ly

    I'm waiting

    "When the user interacts with a computer terminal, the bracelet records the wrist movement, processes it, and sends it to the terminal,"

    Waiting for a suggested application that could only be thought up by an El Reg commentard. Any minute now.

    1. DropBear

      Re: I'm waiting

      Cue in triggering snarky remarks from Siri/Cortana/etc. when the bracelet detects repetitive linear wrist motion.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So given the truism that tech often becomes mainstream only once adopted for porn

    we can look forward to a new era of humiliating discussions with BoFH's:

    LUser: "I think I've locked my account again...yes, the error was "Wrong wrist motion"...well I was trying the other hand to see if it would feel like someone else..."

  6. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    The obvious flaw

    This assumes the user is more or less continuously typing or using the mouse. What if he just pauses to think? Or suppose the computer is used to monitor something and the user is normally expected to enter commands only occasionally.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The obvious flaw

      Hopefully once it decides you're you, as long as you remain within a few feet of the keyboard you'd remain authenticated.

  7. Jagged

    I can see how this would work for access to porn sites

  8. Tromos

    STOP THAT!

    You will

    (a) drain the battery

    (b) go blind

  9. Phil Skuse

    How is this any better than a keycard attached to the user by a piece of string, so that they have to remove it when they walk away from the terminal.

  10. CABVolunteer

    Trackball?

    I use a trackball rather than a mouse - my hand and wrist remain completely stationary even though the pointer is zooming around the screen.

    Still, it's an interesting technology, though I fail to see how it's better than a token+sensor that activates the system only when the token is less than a metre from the sensor.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The blakes 7 angle.....

    Didn't the crew of the Liberator use these to authenticate their use of the teleport facility? Does that count as 'prior art'?

  12. Wize

    Movement?

    Are they matching up the movement to the typing, as in you could be at the next terminal (within range) and picked up by another terminal's sensor.

    And how does it handle one handed typists? I often hold a document in one hand and type with the other, and that can be left and right handed.

    And what about the pause I had between paragraphs while I stopped typing to think.

    And as for fashionable, some people's idea of fashionable is to be covered in sparkly things, which precludes unisex.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Movement?

      Or answer the phone, etc etc

  13. Robert Helpmann??
    Childcatcher

    Apples to Oranges?

    I am a bit confused concerning the comparisons being presented in the chart. The quote near the end of the article indicates that this approach is supposed to complement initial authentication methods, but the chart seems to make direct comparison with some of them. On the other hand, if the point is to simply list different authentication methods, why not list methods that require users to present a token of some sort (e.g. CAC) and other two-factor authentication methods?

  14. Long John Brass

    I wonder when

    The bastards will give up all pretence and just chain their bloody workers to their desk like the boss wants

  15. Jin

    Nice convenience obtained by abandoning security

    Auto-authentication is what we cannot achieve with the passwords but we can so easily achieve with the likes of this kinds of bracelet and swallowed chips.

    We know that the function of having someone else login to our phone/tablet/PC on our behalf while we are unconscious is already realized by biometrics as shown in

    http://mashable.com/2013/09/11/girl-fingerprint-scanner/

    But with the likes of electronic tattoos and hypodermic or swallowed microchips, we can expect the third persons to login to our accounts on our behalf a bit more gently and silently. The third persons would not have to behave very carefully not to wake us up. All that they have to do is just placing our PC/tablet/phone in the vicinity of our unconscious bodies. Then they would have a freehand over our accounts on our behalf.

    Some people, for whom convenience is the top priority, might regard this as a proof that the passwords have the fatal drawbacks. I am, however, of the view that this tells us how critical it is to involve the confirmation of the users’ volition to make the login for identity authentication.

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