Secure USB drive relies on recognising faces
Works as a bottle opener too
Portable data security has stepped up a notch following one manufacturer’s decision to pair a USB Flash drive with facial recognition technology.
The first time you plug the Lockface USB driveinto your PC, you will be asked to "register" your face, so that in future the device can authenticate your pearly white grin and baby blue eyes with ease.
Lockface lets you crack open the beers without facial recognition
All the software required to register your face is contained on the 4GB drive itself, but its facial recognition feature only works with PCs connected to a webcam.
Plug the keyhole-shaped drive into a friend’s camless machine and you will instead be asked for a password before being granted access to Lockface’s data files, according to a report by the Nikkei.
Should a would-be data thief fail miserably at passing their face off as yours or at guessing your password, they could always break into your beer supply using Lockface’s handy integrated bottle opener.
Futen KK’s Lockface USB drive is currently only available in Japan, where it cost roughly ¥10,000 (£68/$111/€76). ®
These things are trivial to bypass
The lock software is on the key but runs on the computer, so it's just a flag flip and the key is unlocked.
A hacker just steps through the software, sees where it says 'yes this matches' and then he then just bypassed the whole check and does the bit of code that runs when the face matches. In practice, one person breaks it, the rest just download the software to break it from a website.
The face can't be used as a key because the biometrics change over time and are not reliable as a key. So they aren't suitable.
If you want to really protect data, download TrueCrypt, and use the 'Travelling Disk' setup tool to encrypt the USB stick and choose a good password and avoid insecure computers.
I hear that....
Mr Berlusconi is currently locked out of his porn collection.. now if only he could remeber that password....
Yet another worthless gizmo
So, we've had facial recognition, fingerprint scanners, and all sorts of things built in - but all of these fall back to a simple password-based interface. All some unscrupulous bugger has to do, rather than chop off your fingers or your face, is to get you to use it on a box with a keylogger installed, and bingo, instant access. I thought the point of these new features was to bypass the well-known flaws of the older systems.
So we might say that this would be a step forward for protecting your personal docs if you left your memory stick on the bus - the finder would likely have no idea what the owner looked like. You wouldn't want to use it for hiding secrets from your girlfriend though.
The fact that it doubles as a bottle opener tells us something about the target market anyway.
What's to stop me holding up a photo of the device's owner to my webcam? I'd be surprised if the software could differentiate between a real face and a photo of one.