Are passwords obsolete? Thoughts from a famous fraudster.
In the next two to three years we'll see passwords go away in a way that's long overdue.
FRANK W. ABAGNALE: Passwords are for treehouses. Many, many years ago I wrote that comment and I live by it today. Passwords were invented in 1964. I was 16 years old. I didn't even do any of the things I had done yet. And today I'm 71 years old and we are still using passwords. When we look at ransomware and when we look at malware and we look at breaches about 86 percent of the time it is a cause of passwords. Passwords were the root of the problem to begin with. We really need to move away from passwords and consequently we've now developed the technology to do just that. You're starting to see now companies very quickly eliminate the need for passwords. You may have seen an ad recently with Serena Williams running through a marketplace. She's in her jogging outfit. She sees a necklace she likes. She only has her phone so she walks over to a bank's ATM, she presses the bank's app on her phone, she gets her money - no password, no card. That's a technology called Trusona which stands for true persona of the individual.
Recognizing the individual by their device and doing it accurately. And so the airlines are switching, banks are switching, companies are switching to eliminate – universities are doing away with passwords from students. I think in the next two or three years we'll see passwords go away and that's long overdue. We should have done that a long time ago. When we get to technologies with inside companies that's the problem today. Most companies don't do a lot of that technology because one, it's costly and two, they're under this influence that it can never happen to me, I'm a small business. If you're a small business it's 48 percent more chance that it's going to happen to you than it's going to happen to big Fortune 500 company. But companies have that attitude that it's not going to happen to me. I don't want to spend the money to update my technology and my system. I don't even want to train my employees.
And that's why I think if you're taking that attitude, that attitude is kind of negligent and I think you should be held responsible if, in fact, someone does get that information and causes harm to your customer or your citizen or your client.
- When we look at online breaches, about 86 percent of the time the hacks have to do with passwords. Because of this, many security experts believe we need to move away from using them.
- Consequently, we've now developed the technology to do just that. For instance, we now have a technology called Trusona — it stands for "true persona." The technology recognizes the individual, more accurately, based on their device.
- Many industries are already switching to this method of identity verification. Airlines are already switching, banks are switching, universities, too, are switching.
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Does the President get to decide when to ignore the law?
- During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln decided to suspend habeas corpus, a protection in the Constitution that prohibited imprisonment without a trial.
- From Lincoln's point of view, following the law to the letter during that unprecedented and pivotal moment in history (i.e. the threat of war and secession from the Union) would put lawfulness itself at risk, so some restrictions of civil liberties were necessary.
- The war and the president's actions changed how the founding document is interpreted and sometimes challenged by the rule of men.
Is information the fifth form of matter?
- Researchers have been trying for over 60 years to detect dark matter.
- There are many theories about it, but none are supported by evidence.
- The mass-energy-information equivalence principle combines several theories to offer an alternative to dark matter.
Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"
- A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
- Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
- Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.