[LINK] Cheap solution for security

Adrian Chadd adrian at creative.net.au
Tue May 26 10:40:20 AEST 2009

How is this secure again?


On Tue, May 26, 2009, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> Cheap solution for security
> Karen Dearne
> May 26, 2009
> The Australian IT
> http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,25538086-15306,00.html
> A Brisbane man has invented a simple, low-cost online authentication 
> system that would allow banks to offer one-time passcode security to all 
> their customers.
> Internet database manager Matthew Walker has won a patent for 
> PassWindows, which synchronises a part-pattern printed on a see-through 
> card window with the rest of a unique pattern generated on the computer 
> screen to display a numeric code.
> Online users hold their card against the screen to reveal a randomly 
> created six-digit number that securely authenticates their financial 
> transactions.
> Mr Walker said PassWindows did the same job as hardware tokens but for 
> almost no cost, so banks could offer that level of security to all 
> customers, rather than just their high-wealth or business clients.
> "Everyone I've run this past says 'yes, technically it works, it's a lot 
> better than relying on user passwords and it's infinitely cheaper than 
> supplying and supporting electronic devices'," Mr Walker said.
> "It's not rocket science, we're simply generating synchronised segments 
> to a pattern. For credit cards, it's a good way to replace the CCV 
> numbers (printed on the back of cards) often used to verify that the 
> user is holding the card."
> PassWindows is designed to work with existing card production systems, 
> so when a user's card is issued, a unique segment pattern is printed on 
> to the clear window and a binary representation of that pattern is added 
> to the account database.
> Mr Walker's software, a small web-based program, then generates the 
> second part of the passcode as an on-screen image.
> Since the patent was granted, Mr Walker has entered into an agreement 
> with Australian-owned card maker CARDPro, based in China, to produce 
> cards with PassWindows.
> -- 
> Regards
> brd
> Bernard Robertson-Dunn
> Canberra Australia
> brd at iimetro.com.au
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