Biometrics

Nymi Band testing heartbeat-authenticated mobile payments

Nymi Band testing heartbeat-authenticated mobile payments

With Apple Pay gaining popularity, and more mobile payment systems like Android Pay and Samsung Pay in the pipeline, fingerprint authentication is quickly becoming the new security standard when it comes to making payments without a credit card. But the Nymi Band is testing something said to be even more secure than fingerprints: heartbeat authentication. The band uses a sensor to track and identify the electrical activity in the owner's heart, a biometric that can't be copied or stolen.

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Security issues in some Android handsets leave fingerprints exposed

Security issues in some Android handsets leave fingerprints exposed

A team of researchers with FireEye have discovered a serious security vulnerability in some Android phones involving biometric security. The flaw leaves fingerprints open to hackers by storing them in a "world readable" folder as an image file. Both the HTC One Max and the Samsung Galaxy S5 were cited as vulnerable, but other Android phones from other manufacturers could also be at risk. The HTC One Max was cited as being the most vulnerable, however, storing the fingerprints as unencrypted BMP files that could be read by any unprivileged app or process.

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Yankee Stadium adds biometric security ‘Fast Access’ option

Yankee Stadium adds biometric security ‘Fast Access’ option

Security lines at big events take a long time to pass through, and so it isn’t surprising some are willing to put aside their privacy concerns for the sake of speeding things along. Yankee Stadium has announced plans to roll out new “Fast Access” entries that will, as the name suggests, get visitors into the stadium faster. The catch is that in order to do so, you’ll need to register with Clear beforehand and will need to provide your fingerprints while registering. This is the same service used in some airports and a couple other stadiums across the nation.

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Smartphone fingerprint scanners are still not secure enough

Smartphone fingerprint scanners are still not secure enough

Android just can't seem to get a break lately. After the really frightening Stagefright bug and then a slightly related vulnerability exposed by security firm Trend Micro, another component is being branded as insecure. Granted, it's not a widespread malady this time as only Android smartphones with fingerprint sensors are affected. Tao Wei and Yulong Zhang, both researchers from FireEye, are singling out the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max as the most vulnerable examples of this case at the Black Hat security conference this week.

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Dutch bank rolls out Nuance-powered voice authentication in mobile app

Dutch bank rolls out Nuance-powered voice authentication in mobile app

While password management apps making signing in to banking institutions' websites and apps much easier, there's still the fact that they rely on text-based passwords, something many in the security industry say has got to go. Plus, in the event you make a mistake or there's an error when signing in, get ready to answer a litany of annoying security questions. Well, the ING Netherlands bank wants to skip all that, allowing customers to use their voice for authentication in its mobile apps.

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Custom Lexus RC-F projects driver’s heartbeat in glowing paint

Custom Lexus RC-F projects driver’s heartbeat in glowing paint

We often hear about unique, special cars that have their own "soul" to them, but about one with a heartbeat? Or, more specifically, one that can display its driver's heartbeat? Well, that's exactly what Lexus Australia has come up with, calling it "the world's first car with a heartbeat," with an aim of projecting the connection between driver and vehicle. The outside of the Lexus RC-F performance coupe is covered in electroluminescent paint, with the side panels pulsing in time with the heart.

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Synaptics announces first self-enclosed fingerprint sensor for laptops

Synaptics announces first self-enclosed fingerprint sensor for laptops

Synaptics has debuted the first fingerprint sensing hardware for laptops and other devices that is completely self-enclosed, or "off the grid" in that it doesn't rely on other parts of a computer when authenticating a fingerprint. The company calls its technology "match-in-sensor," and says it will allow more secure transactions on computers as users get more accustomed password-free logins. By isolating fingerprint authentication, it prevents threats like malware on the computer gaining access to the data.

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OnePlus confirms fingerprint scanner for the OnePlus 2

OnePlus confirms fingerprint scanner for the OnePlus 2

There is little doubt that Chinese startup OnePlus really wants to bring on the heat, figuratively and literally. It has already revealed that it will be using the highly contentious Snapdragon 810, v2.1, come what may. Now it is confirming that the OnePlus 2 will also have a fingerprint sensor. Of course, it's not enough for OnePlus to say that. It is also claiming that this particular sensor is a "fingerprint sensor done right", which will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows from fans of Apple's Touch ID tech, so far considered to be the best implementation there is.

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Amazon patents ear-scanning technology for unlocking smartphones

Amazon patents ear-scanning technology for unlocking smartphones

Forget typing in a four-digit code, or drawing a specific shape as a passcode, and even using your fingerprint to unlock your smartphone. Amazon thinks that the next great way to secure your digital device is by scanning the shape of you ear. The company has just received a patent for technology that would scan your ear with a phone's front-facing camera, unlocking it as you hold the device to the side of your face when answering a call.

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Google patents contact lens with an iris scanner

Google patents contact lens with an iris scanner

Google definitely has a thing for eyewear. After the failure that was Google Glass, it has and continues to fawn over over contact lenses instead, embedding anything that can be embedded inside of something that will sit extremely close to our eyes. Most of those, however, reside in patents and this latest patent takes into the realm of spy fiction. Filed almost a year ago, this patent basically uses our unique irises as a biometric fingerprint, which the contact lens can collect and compare with a stored reference for identity matching.

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Qualcomm Sense ID tech adopted by NTT DoCoMo

Qualcomm Sense ID tech adopted by NTT DoCoMo

Qualcomm and its Snapdragon 810 may have just gotten a new ally, however indirect it may be. It has just announced that Japan's largest operator, NTT DoCoMo, will be adopting its security technology which is offers under the Sense ID brand. The platform forms the basis for, among other things, Qualcomm's advanced fingerprint sensing technology, which will allow manufacturers to optionally fit biometric sensors that can see through dirt and even certain metals. DoCoMo will use Sense ID as part of its own mobile authentication service that it will be launching on Wednesday.

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New smartphone uses iris scanning to replace passwords in Japan

New smartphone uses iris scanning to replace passwords in Japan

Biometrics have changed the way we use smartphones, but they haven't really revolutionized it, yet. Being able to unlock your smartphone with a fingerprint is convenient, but it has become so commonplace that the feature doesn't stand out anymore. One of the latest smartphones due to hit Japan this summer sets itself apart from the crowd by allowing users to unlock, sign in to apps, and go shopping using only their eyes. That's right, the iris-scanning technology that was once relegated to sci-fi movies and the higher echelons of government security can now be held in the palm of your hands.

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