Google Thinks Passwords Should Be Thing of the Past

by Christopher Freeburn | January 18, 2013 1:18 pm

[1]According to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG[2]), the future won’t require cumbersome passwords[3].

The Internet search giant’s security team has come up with a number of new ways that people can safely sign into computers and online accounts without having to remember different strings of letters and numbers, Wired notes.

Noting that passwords and cookies — little bits of computer code deposited in browsers by websites — can no longer guard against the hacking threats faced by current Internet surfers, Google’s technology  described some of these new log-in technologies in a paper to be published later this month in IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine.

Among the new secure log-in methods is a small YubiKey card, which slides into a USB-connected reader. The card contains an encrypted code that automatically logs users into Google accounts.

In the long-run, Google foresees users wearing jewelry — a ring, perhaps — that includes an embedded smartcard being used to log-in to devices with just a tap. A smartphone, even lacking a cellular connection, could also serve as a log-in mechanism, unlocking devices.

Once device-based log-in mechanisms are widely adopted, passwords will fade in importance, relegated to only the most important tasks.

Of course, embedding access keys into devices or jewelry also means that people will have to keep close track of those items. If they are stolen, thieves could gain easy access to devices and accounts.

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