While similar devices have been around for two years in the online gaming industry, Google is set to be one of the first websites to put in place offline security in the form of passdevices.
Having been an avid online gamer over the past ten years, I have seen passdevices significantly decrease the number of players’ accounts being hacked. These devices could have similar benefits for email accounts and most importantly, bank accounts. The current device called an ‘authenticator’ (pictured above) used in the most played online game worldwide, World of Warcraft, involves a number generator which changes codes every 10 minutes, with each generator unique to the person. The generator is linked to that person’s account and when they log in, they use the generated code as an additional safeguard to their password.
What Google is proposing as a passdevice is a little different. The cards are called ‘Yubikeys,’ which are USB cards that store your login information in the cloud and require you to insert the card into your device to login, erasing the need for passwords. While a passdevice may seem a good idea in practise, for some it may just another item which could get lost. The flip side of the argument is that the majority of online fraud committed against Australians is from outside our country, so anything which prevents these fraudulent transactions is a step forward to reducing cyber crime.
Within the next decade, it is expected that passdevices will become the norm along with a password and these devices will be built into your phone, watch or even a wearable ring.
Are you excited by these developments in online security?