Feeds

Miaow to kitten-based authentication

Fun but less than purrfect

The essential guide to IT transformation

Web developers have taken the idea of Captchas - challenge-response systems that are often used to stop the automatic creation of webmail accounts by spammers - forward in a fun way by using images of kittens instead of distorted images of letters. KittenAuth features nine pictures of cute little animals, only three of which are feline. A user demonstrates that there's a human in front of machine by selecting the three kittens among these images.

Doubtless the choice of animal would find favour over at b3ta.com.

Security guru Bruce Schneier also thinks the idea merits further investigation even though it certainly not ready to be applied seriously just yet. For one thing, as the system stands, there's a one in 84 chance of a computer randomly selecting the three correct images.

"You could increase the security by adding more images or requiring the person to choose more images. Another worry - which I didn't see mentioned - is that the computer could brute-force a static database if there are only a small fixed number of actual kittens," he writes.

Despite these reservation, Schneier describes the concept of authentication using pictures of animals in this way as "an interesting idea that warrants more research". ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?