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". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.