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smriti • Dec 14, 2011

Code-Entry Through Touch Might Prevent PINs From Leaking

If you are the paranoid one when it comes to your ATM PIN, some good news to relax your nerves,  Andrea Bianchi at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon has just made ATMs more secure with code-entry through the touchscreen on your smartphone. A range of touch-based code-entry mechanisms have been designed by this bunch which aims to prevent prying eyes from getting a sneak into your PIN.

This is basically carried out by allowing phones to communicate with ATMs, done so using near-field communication readers, so smartphones could be used instead of the unreliable, visible keypads. Now, this method is somewhat similar to the use of virtual keyboards for your online bank transactions, only this has to be implemented in the real world.




The team has decided to channel this idea through two approaches. In one approach you try to recognise what you feel and with the other you count what you feel.  The first approach uses the example of PhoneLock system, in which alphanumeric icons on the phone's touchscreen are replaced with tactons, the touch-equivalent of icons. The tactons, are easy to distinguish from each other, with unique  vibration pattern for each tacton.

The other approach is SpinLock, in which the user is provided with a circular wheel, resembling an old-fashioned combination safe. The user moves his finger in one direction for an appropriate number of clicks in a sequence, before running it in the other direction to unlock their account. These methods are time-taking, but the randomized position of tactons guarantee a higher level of security for those who want it.

Source: New Scientist Image Credit: Money Guide India

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