Fancy using a USB to log-in? Not like you will have a choice if this picks up, but still.
It’s no secret that the passwords that we know and hate to remember is no longer the perfect defense to save our sensitive information online. Groups like Anonymous makes it look easy, with powerful hacking methods, and equally powerful PCs to power their cyber terror.
Google, who probably has the whole world’s passwords, has realized this and are spearheading an alternative hardware-based log-in system called Yubico. The idea is here is that users will use a small USB which will host a modified version of Chrome and automatically log-in the user on a PC.
Of course, this is not a perfect system. Considering how we, as humans, are great at remembering our keys, wallets and other valuables, the USB will be another thing to worry about keeping safe. If lost, this could pose immediately security risk, and for the user, it would be impossible to log-in without it.
Google also recognizes that and will have in place a “form of screen unlock” which might use traditional passwords.
While the system looks seemingly more secure and might turn out to be quite great when it’s finished, the daunting task for Google is to get sites to accept it and incorporate it into their websites. Google says that “others have tried similar approaches but achieved little success in the consumer world. Although we recognize that our initiative will likewise remain speculative until we’ve proven large scale acceptance, we’re eager to test it with other websites.”
The way I see it, the log-in system cannot be limited to just a USB card. Google needs to work on other, ‘everyday items’ that could also be used as a log-in authenticator, like a smartphone.
For now, this technology seems like a long-way off from being put into practical use. Till then, we will have to do with our good ol’ passwords.