Transmitting Passwords Via Human Body

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A password sent through Bluetooth, Radio Waves,or optic fibres can be eavesdropped easily. Personal and sensitive data transmission is no less than a risky job these days. Even the encrypted codes can be broken easily by hackers. The students and researchers working at the University of Washington recently found a solution to this problem by creating a way for sending secure passwords through the human body. The computer scientists and electrical engineers team devised a method that makes the human body use low-frequency, benign transmissions with fingerprint sensors and some touchpads over consumer devices. 

An assistant professor of computer science and engineering`at UW explains, “Fingerprint sensors have so far been used as an input device. What is cool is that we’ve shown for the first time that fingerprint sensors can be re-purposed to send out information that is confined to the body. “ He is also the senior author of this paper. These “om-body” transmission devices offer the most secure way for transmitting authentic data between two devices that are in tactile contact with human body. The device can be a medical wearable to a smart door lock, these just confirm the identity of the user by asking them to type their password. 

Another co-lead author, an electrical engineering doctoral student, Merhdad Hessar, says, “Let’s say I want to open a door using an electronic smart lock. I can touch the doorknob and touch the fingerprint sensor on my phone and transmit my secret credentials through my body to open the door, without leaking that personal information over the air.” the team tested the new innovation over an iPhone and a few other fingerprint sensors, Adafruit capacitive touchpad, and Lenovo laptop trackpad. When they performed the test on 10 different subjects, people with different heights, weight, and body types were able to transmit the message with superb ease. They system worked equally well when the subjects were moving including movement of the arm while walking.