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    News in brief

    Microsoft to support Fido biometrics

    News in brief

    Windows 10 will support the next version of the Fast Identification Online (Fido) Alliance technical specifications, Microsoft has announced, allowing users to unlock their devices using biometric authentication instead of passwords. “Transitioning away from passwords and to a stronger form of identity is one of the great challenges that we face in online computing, and we believe Fido authentication is the pathway to success,” says Microsoft’s Dustin Ingalls.

    Filed by Email Rian Boden Published • Last updated 18 February 2015, 14:17

    • Hitoshi Anatomi

      It appears there are a couple of misconceptions at FIDO.

      It makes no sense to expect a PIN to displace a password because the PIN, a numbers-only short password, belongs to the password. A’ which belongs to A cannot be an alternative to A. It also makes no sense to expect a biometric product operated with a backup/fallback password to displace a password. A+B cannot be an alternative to A.

      Biometrics would help for better security only when it is operated together with another factor by AND/Conjunction (we need to go through both of the two), not when operated with another factor by OR/Disjunction (we need only to go through either one of the two) as in the cases of Touch ID and many other biometric products on the market which require a backup/fallback password.

      Incidentally, it is not possible to compare the strength of biometrics operated on its own with that of a password operated on its own. There are no objective data about the overall vulnerability of biometric solutions (not just false acceptance rate when false rejection is near-zero but also the risk of forgery of body features and the risk of use when the user is unconscious) and that of the passwords (not only that it may be as low as 10 bits or as high as 100 bits but also that it can be stolen and leaked.)

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