Researchers have developed a new system that allows secure information, such as passwords, to be sent through a person’s body rather than “easy to hack” Wifi or Bluetooth signal.
“Computer scientist and electrical engineers have found a way to broadcast signals from a fingerprint scanner or touchpad through the body to a receiving device that is also in contact with the user.” This systems allows for a secure means of transporting information that does not require a password.
The system uses the same signals as fingerprint scanners on most personal devices such as smartphones, touchpads, and laptops, showing that they can sent out information previously confined to the body. The system would allow someone who, in this example, wanted to open a door, touch the doorknob and fingerprint sensor on their device, transmitting the signal through the person’s body to open the door. In doing this, no personal information can be leaked.
Researchers were able to use fingerprint and touchpad signals as outputs, parallel to the data of a password or access code. This information is then allowed to safely travel through the body to a receiver in need of authentication, rather than being sent through hackable signals. Based on tests, the system works with a various devices and people with different heights, weights, and body types. The position or motion of the person has also shown to have no effect on the system. The new system requires the same amount of time it would take to type in a simple code, and ends up transferring more data to authenticate the individual.
According to researchers, the system could be applied to medical devices, “such as glucose monitors or insulin pumps, which require secure data sharing to confirm the patient’s identity.”
They system is still described as a study and until there is more access to software used by fingerprint sensors, researchers aim to gain faster transmission options.
By Nicole Semenyuk