Feeds

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

Or sticking it in, to put it another way

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.