Anyone with a slight understanding of security will know that the once secure tradition of passwords is rapidly dying out. The harsh reality is passwords are no longer secure, with brute force and rainbow table attacks making guessing passwords easy and most importantly, with modern hardware, quick. It should come of no surprise then that Apple appears to be on the forefront of trying to reinvent the password and finding alternative methods of securing devices.
Interestingly, Apple have published a patent last week doing just that, looking for alternatives for passwords. This comes at a time where the rumour of an iWatch has surfaced once again, and one cannot help but associate the two. Could Apple be eyeing up the iWatch as a form of proximity or identity sensor to associate with its iDevices?
The patent describes a system that would display an image on the device and ask the owner to identify them.
For example, after displaying an image that depicts a face of the user’s sister Jane, the user may speak aloud, “Jane” … Alternatively, step 120 might also include displaying … a set of names. Then, as part of step 130, the user selects one of the displayed names that the user believes identifies the object.
As part of a single round authentication process, an authenticating process selects an image of the Eiffel Tower and prompts the user to enter a description of the Eiffel Tower that the user provided previously (e.g., using a different computing device), such as “The Big Stick.” While Eiffel Tower is a global icon, not many people have referred to it as “The Big Stick.” Therefore, an unauthorized person that accesses the computing device and sees the Eiffel Tower as part of the authentication process will most likely not know that “The Big Stick” is the answer.
The user would be able to choose the number of images to display, as well as the method of authenticating the user in an attempt to replace the password authentication method currently used.[Source: Patently Apple]