Internet security and identity theft have always been an issue. Identity thieves use various means to get information. These may include viruses like Trojan horses, spyware and key loggers. People are looking for more security for vital information such as passwords and personal information online. A new way may have been found by computer scientists and electrical engineers to send passwords online.
A team of computer scientists and electrical engineers from the University of Washington has been working on sending passwords through the human body, according to the University of Washington site. This is through low-frequency transmissions using fingerprint sensors and touchpads.
Fingerprint sensors have been used as an input device, but computer scientists and engineers at the University of Washington have reconfigured the fingerprint sensor as a means of sending out information.
"Fingerprint sensors have so far been used as an input device. What is cool is that we've shown for the first time that fingerprint sensors can be re-purposed to end out information that is confined to the body," Shyam Gollakota, lead author and University of Washington assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering said.
Key to this is that the transmission would be more secure without having information coming out through the air. Transmission through WiFi and even through Ethernet cable could still be intercepted by identity thieves. Having passwords pass through the body would minimize information that identity thieves intercept during data transmission.
Devices used for the experiment include the iPhone, Lenovo laptop trackpads and Adafruit capacitive touchpads, as Science Daily reports. Ten subjects participated in the experiment. Transmission could be done regardless of the person's height, weight and body type. Testing was also done with the subjects moving around or doing body movements.
Fingerprint sensors and touchpads are said to work best since they generate two to 10 MHz frequencies. These frequencies could travel through the human body and don't leak out through the air. University of Washington engineers reconfigured the sensors to act as output devices.
The process involves having the data pass through the body to a receiver on a device that confirms this information. The researchers say that this is just the first step. What they need is to have fingerprint sensor manufacturers access their software so they could make transmission even faster.
iTechPost also reports of lasers being used to fight crime.