Biometrics for Identification or Authentication Still Has a Way to Go

first_imgTags:#news#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… PC manufacturers have been introducing biometric technologies into their products over the past several years; the implication being that such technologies are inherently more secure than the traditional password, especially given the lack of attention given to password creation by the majority of users.Several years ago, MythBusters proved that the fingerprint security system is seriously flawed and can be easily broken, and just last week at the Black Hat Conference, Duc Nguyen, senior researcher at Bkis, proved just how easy it was to circumvent facial recognition technology on laptops using a simple low-quality photograph.MythBusters Fools Fingerprint ScannerIn 2006, the popular MythBusters program showed how easy it was to fool a fingerprint reader; even though the reader was supposed to pick up on pulse, body heat and sweat.Using three methods, a copy of a fingerprint etched in latex, a ballistics gel copy of a fingerprint and a photocopy of a fingerprint, MythBusters successfully beat the system. How? By licking the samples to simulate sweat. Although it took three days to prepare, once they’d worked it out, it only took seconds to fool the system. If you missed the episode, we’ve embedded it at the end of this post.Mold Fools Hand Geometry ScannerLast year at defcon 16, Zac Franken said that physical access control systems are shockingly vulnerable, and went on to demonstrate how to bypass a hand geometry scanner by making a mold of his hand using not much more than chromatic dental alginate and vinyl polysiloxane.As Hack a Day points out, this solution “may not be a completely practical attack, but it does defeat the overall idea of biometrics; biometrics are built on the assumption that every person is unique and can’t have their features reproduced.”While the MythBusters and defcon examples clearly show that replicating conditions and bypassing biometric technology is possible, Nguyen’s demonstration is by far the easiest to pull off.Printout Fools Facial Recognition TechnologyAccording to a recent report in the Internet News, although the laptops used in the test (Lenovo, Asus and Toshiba) all have unique algorithms, the basic idea for creating a legitimate biometric login is the same for all three: “A user sits in front of their notebook while its built-in Webcam scans their face to create an image used for future identification.”If you think getting a user’s picture is difficult – think again. Nguyen pointed out that with all the user generated and sharing sites like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and the various chat programs (Skype, MSN etc), finding or simply taking a snapshot of a user is almost effortless.According to the demonstration, the image size and quality make little difference, as Nguyen proved when he bypassed the security on the Lenovo laptop using a grayscale image. In an e-mail to Internet News, a Lenovo spokesperson pointed out that “the technology looks for eye movement to distinguish between a still photograph and a real person.” Nguyen got past that by moving the picture around in front of the camera.Best Security? A SecretFrom a user point of view, the best security is a strong password, something only the user knows. The accepted wisdom at the moment is that a password that uses alphabetical (upper and lower case), numeric and non-alphanumeric characters and has a minimum of eight characters is considered strong. However, this works on the assumption that the system itself has been configured securely, with account lockout after a certain number of failed attempts, and retry delays that get progressively longer with each failed attempt to prevent brute force attacks.Unfortunately, as we know, this is not always the case. Will biometrics help? Maybe. But clearly not today.Myth Busters Finger Print Lock Myth Busters-Finger Print Lock – More free videos are hereImage Credit: Flickr Flick Related Posts lidija daviscenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Missouri poised to require expanded insurance for children with disabilities

first_img(Missourinet) In 2010, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill requiring insurance companies to cover therapies for the state’s autistic children. A measure passed this year expands that policy by mandating insurers to include physical, occupational and speech therapies for Missouri’s physically and developmentally disabled kids up to age 18. The move will make the Show-Me State among three states in the nation to have a therapy requirement for all children with such challenges.The Schelps pictured with Gov. Mike Parson during bill signingThe bipartisan bill, sponsored by State Representative Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, was attached to a healthcare bill with several other components. It was signed into law this month by Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, and takes effect with 2020 insurance plans.Robyn Schelp, of central Missouri’s Columbia, has been a leading advocate of the law because her 11-year-old son, Nathan, is developmentally challenged.“It’s not going to impact him that much anymore like it would have ten years ago, but it needs to be done for all kiddos,” says Schelp. “This is not about Nathan. It’s not about Will. It’s not about the kids that are walking the halls. It’s about all of Missouri’s children.”Schelp’s pursuit for the law included leaving the language broad for all disabilities to get equal treatment.“It is so important that all disabilities be included to do with anything in the disability world,” she says. “This (bill) includes disabilities like Down syndrome, which is pretty common, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, to the really rare genetic disorders. Or like my son, who has a genetic disorder that they can’t even figure out what it is.”In the provision of Senate Bill 514, it says that insurance companies must be limited to a number of visits per calendar year, provided that additional visits shall be covered if approved and deemed medically necessary by the health benefit plan. Schelp is hopeful that more therapy providers will surface in Missouri, especially in schools and in rural areas where healthcare resources are especially limited.“It (the law) impacts their families. It’s impacts their neighbors. It impacts their classrooms – their classmates. It impacts the community. When we start to get beyond ourselves, we can realize when everybody’s needs are met, everybody benefits,” Schelp says.Now that Missouri will soon become the third state to expand coverage, Schelp does not plan to stop advocating for the cause.“Our goal is to see nationwide change. We want this (requirement) to happen everywhere,” says Schelp. “It should have already happened everywhere, but now it’s time to make sure it happens everywhere throughout the country.”last_img read more

Will the real Sunil Sethi please stand up?

first_imgFashion Week has concluded just a day ago and we are at the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) office in Okhla. It’s dusk outside, and even though its president, Sunil Sethi has spent an entire week on his feet leading the roster of fashion shows, any traces of fatigue are unnoticeable.This is the man who the fashion fraternity has come to both revere and fear. Outsiders believe he has the power to make or break a label; insiders know his ability to make and shake the entire industry. In the decade since he took over as chief of FDCI in 2008, Sethi has steered the Capital’s fashion event to become a major force, with leading designers and FROW (front row) attendees elbowing for presence as a sign of ‘having arrived’.Grand finales have got grander, street fashion has become bolder, and entire movements dedicated to textiles have been spearheaded by him, with the backing of the government.And while Sethi has helped build the name and careers of many, there is little known of him outside his status as a leading force behind India’s fashion empire, and, as a Page 3 regular. FDCI President Sunil Sethi. Photo: Bandeep Singh”In my school and college days, being fashionable meant going to a local store, picking up a few meters of fabric and getting a shirt made with whatever was in style on the big screen,” he recounts fondly.”I will not lie that I was influenced by the guru kurtas of Rajesh Khanna, and the bell-bottoms worn by Amitabh Bachchan. I did my best to get hold of faded jeans – having a pair of jeans and a wrangler jacket in school at that time was a very prized asset,” shares Sethi.advertisementThe passion for being ‘with it’ doesn’t seem to have changed, as even today he can be counted in the country’s leading lists of best dressed men. His style is a distinct brand – the silver-white hair, almost halo-like, mustache and beard, fitted trousers on his lanky frame, and blazers of every design and major brand.”When I went to college in SRCC, my favourite singers were Cat Stevens and Leonard Cohen, and I remember Stevens always sporting a beard. Since then, there has hardly been a year that I haven’t sported one myself,” he reveals.Of course, anyone who knows him will quickly clarify that there is more to Sethi than just a fashion statement. Over the years, he has built a formidable reputation of promoting Indian craft and handloom, the seeds of which were planted in 1976 when he formed an export company, Merchants India.”I did not want to get into my family business of automobile spare parts, and even though I joined because of family pressure, my heart was always set on the export market of handicraft, textile and apparel. Fresh out of college, I left for Europe, Canada and America with a 20 kilo bagful of samples and got my first order for T-shirts from Canada.” Soon, he grew as a trade exporter, supplying saris and hair extension buns to Mauritius, daris to Italy and brass handicrafts to the US.Sethi had even dabbled in hosting a fashion show in the ’70s for the modish brand Avis Jeans, with ITC Maurya hotel as the sponsor. However, his real foray into fashion didn’t happen until 24 years later, when in 2000 the India Fashion Week was set up.Sethi had by then become a major buying agent, representing international designers and stores in India like Girogio Armani Casa, with his turnover having crossed Rs 100 crore. Using these networks, he became the fashion week’s biggest buying agent, and brought international names like Selfridges of UK, Coin of Italy, Habitat of Dublin, TsUM of Russia, and Golf & Co of Israel to their shores.He confesses, “I was in awe of fashion and the designers, and I felt they enjoyed a celebrity status. But I was pleasantly surprised that they welcomed me with open arms when I approached them to showcase India at Selfridges. Till date I enjoy a trust factor with them where most are open to the initiatives I suggest, be it with private sponsors or the government.”In 2008 he was invited by the FDCI Board to become its president, but it wasn’t as smooth a ride as it appears today. He recounts, “Those were challenging years in getting the industry together, starting a men’s fashion, and launching the first couture week in the country.”Of course, the business of fashion has grown leaps and bounds since then, with help from the fraternity. The relationship between the fashion industry and government has thawed, and he has worked on numerous initiatives such as Make In India, shows with the Ministry of External Affairs, and the #IWearHandloom movement that was initiated by Minister of Textiles and I&B, Smriti Irani in August 2016. More recently, he showcased Indian carpets to French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to India.advertisementNow in his 10th year as the FDCI president, Sethi is ready to take a step back from his role and share the mantle. He states, “It does seem like a long time now, and I am waiting for smarter, brighter millennials to come up and share this responsibility forward. It is a cliché that change is constant, and anyone who knows me and my pace knows that I am always out there in the thick of action. But I have accepted change because I find it is inevitable.”Even with a very young team that makes him familiar with the changing scenario, he confesses that more perspective is needed. He elaborates, “I do need help from market experts and designers to clear my mind on whether online space is the way to go or should we stick to the fashion show module; whether more attention should be paid to the couture market as that is where designers make more money, or to the business of prêt fashion where the buyers are coming.”Personally, Sethi is ready for exciting avenues on the horizon. He reveals, “I will still be holding the hand of anyone who joins FDCI, but with more time at my disposal, I want to focus on other projects.”For instance, the I&B ministry and government of Goa recently involved him as the chief design advisor for an international film festival, and the minister of textiles gave him a project to curate a museum space on craft and textile. He has also launched a luxury eyewear brand called Indie Eye.”This is where I want use my experience, with support from the government,” he shares. With a doctorate and professorship recently awarded by two universities, he is also looking to expand his contribution in the academic field by mentoring design students.Sunil Sethi has paved the path for many along his quest for design and beauty. The future of Indian craft can only get brighter under his watch, as time will prove, once again.last_img read more