24 February 2006 | 6,521 views

Passwords Passe at RSA

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SAN JOSE, California — Identity theft and online bank fraud were the unofficial themes of the 2006 RSA Conference, a massive security confab where Bill Gates came to announce the imminent death of the password and vendors filled the exhibition halls with iPod giveaways and promises that their product could stop everything from spam and malware to hackers and typos.

Thanks to a California law known as SB 1386 that requires companies to disclose sensitive data leaks to California consumers, companies like ChoicePoint and shoe retailer DSW became poster children for corporate negligence last year after mishandling sensitive data.

As mentioned previously, Phishing is getting to be a big issue now, and password only measures are failing.

Perhaps the biggest change this year will be in online banking, as financial institutions move to comply with federal oversight agencies that are directing banks (.pdf) to secure their sites with more than just user logins and passwords.

These extra fraud profiling and authentication measures are necessary, according to Callas, since the threats on the internet have changed.

“Now we are not dealing with kids having fun,” Callas said. “We are dealing with criminals — the Russian mafia. And online banking risks are there if your bank offers it, even if you don’t use it.”

E-trade, for instance, already offers free RSA security tokens to its most active users. Those battery-powered devices work by using a using a seed number and the current time to cryptographically generate a secure one-time code to complement the normal user login and password.

Source: Wired News



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