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FastWords Featured on "Death of the Password"

Security Expert Appears on Canada’s CBC Radio “The Current”

Menlo Park, CA, August 17, 2011 --( Dr. Markus Jakobsson, inventor of the easier and more secure password approach “FastWords” spoke on Canada’s popular “This Morning” show about the need for more secure and user-friendly passwords.

Dr. Jakobsson explained how passwords are often the weakest link in the security of a system. This is both because they can sometimes be guessed by attackers, and because many users use the same or similar passwords at many sites. When one of these sites gets compromised or one of the passwords stolen, then the reuse increases the damages felt by the user.

He explained that by using three word stories - so-called "fastwords" - security can be dramatically strengthened. And they are easier to remember than passwords, too. People have a hard time remembering random passwords, but stories are natural for people to remember. Say that you once went fishing and caught a frog by mistake? "fishing frog mistake" might be your story.

So it is easy to remember your fatstwords, but what if you cannot remember what fastword you used on what site? Dr. Jakobsson explained that a site could send a hint –-- such as the first word out of the three. In the example above, they would send you the word "fishing," and you would have to respond "frog mistake" –-- or "Mistake Frog," since order and capitalization do not matter.

Jason Perlow, senior editor of ZDNet, agrees that these are interesting approaches, and says that large enterprises have to start taking much tighter security controls of their data. Jason suggests that another promising approach lets the user select a collection of images during account setup. Later, the system asks the user to pick the same set of images from a larger collection in order to authenticate. In the future, biometrics may also help us authenticate users. Jason explains that within 2-3 years, the cost of the equipment is expected to come down.

The interview is available at:

About Extricatus LLC
Extricatus is an advanced authentication research firm led by Dr. Markus Jakobsson, who holds over fifty patents and has published over a hundred articles as well as two books: "Phishing and Countermeasures" (Wiley, 2007), "Crimeware" (Symantec Press, 2008), and “The Death of the Internet” (Wiley, forthcoming)

About PatentBridge LLC
PatentBridge, a privately held technology commercialization firm based in Silicon Valley, specializes in bringing to market extraordinary scientific and industrial breakthroughs. Its CEO and founder is Mark Holmes, author of Patent Licensing: Strategy, Negotiation and Forms (PLI Press).


Mark Holmes, PatentBridge
P: 650-223-1150; E:
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Mark Holmes

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