Feeds

Google tries putting an NFC ring on it: Bonking will keep you SAFE

Or sticking it in, to put it another way

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Google has started testing NFC keyrings from one-time-pad makers Yubico, with a view to offering them to ordinary punters next summer as a secure way of accessing the Google cloud.

The keyrings feature a USB interface and an embedded NFC tag, either of which can supply a one-time password securing connection. The technique is clever, and if the Wall Street Journal is accurate then Google's support could quickly make it ubiquitous.

The tag in question

When is a keyboard not a keyboard? When it's a key.

The key generates a string of one-time passwords, using a secret seed shared with the service to which it's intended to connect. But unlike similar tokens which display the generated password on an LCD screen for the user to type in, the Yubico device connects as a USB keyboard and enters the password itself.

Which is fine if you're using a computer with a spare USB port, but less convenient on a mobile phone – which is where NFC comes in. Hold the keyring beside an NFC phone and it provides a URL, containing the one-time password, to the handset's browser.

And that's the critical point about Yubico - it doesn't require any software on the phone or computer; it just provides the secure password without the user having to type it in.

That confirms to the cloud service that the user has possession of the key ring, and a normal password comprises the second stage of the two-stage making the connection a good deal more secure with the minimum of additional effort.

That might still prove too much effort for users who generally expect their browsers to keep track of their passwords anyway, which is presumably what Google is testing for, but with more services moving into the cloud the ability to know who's accessing them is only going to become more critical over time. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
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.
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.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?