Death of the Password

CNET has an article that highlights some of Mr. Gates’ comments during a speech at the RSA Security conference held this week in SF.

In particular, the following comment, which we’ve heard before with the hype around Smart Cards, but hopefully the obvious end to passwords will come to fruition sooner this time than later (this time).

“Bill Gates predicted the demise of the traditional password because it cannot “meet the challenge” of keeping critical information secure.”

In addition, some information regarding MSFT’s own “tamper resistant” biometric ID-card software was revealed:

“Microsoft also demonstrated “tamper resistant” biometric ID-card software, developed by its own research arm, that can be used by both small and large companies to create ID cards using a digital camera, an inkjet printer and a business-card scanner.”

“To create an ID card, the software requires a photograph and some basic information about a person, such as name and date of birth. This information is processed by the software to create a digital signature in the form of a bar code, which is also printed onto the ID card. If any of the information on the ID card is altered, it will not correlate to the signature and the card is rejected, according to Microsoft.”

“Gavin Jancke, development manager at Microsoft Research, who demonstrated the software, said one of the key aspects of the system is that it does not require a database because all the information is already stored on the card.”

Hmm, I suppose they could be printed on “actual” Passports too…