Friday, 08 July 2011

Neurotechnology Introduces VeriSpeak Voice Identification Technology

Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification technologies, has introduced VeriSpeak, the company's new voice identification technology.

VeriSpeak combines voiceprint identification and phrase recognition technologies, enabling the development of two-factor voice verification and authentication systems that can identify a person by biometric voice pattern and use of a passphrase.

A person's voiceprint can be enrolled in the system along with that person's unique speech pattern in pronunciation of a passphrase. When the person later requests access to a physical area or protected information, he or she simply speaks the password into the microphone and the system checks for both voice and phrase authenticity prior to allowing access. A set of passphrases can be enrolled as answers to different security questions. In the authentication mode, the system offers the option to answer any one of the security questions from the set. In this way, the use of a passphrase also enables the system to ensure that a live person (as opposed to a voice recording) is being detected, which provides an extra measure of security and fraud prevention.

VeriSpeak can be used with a regular microphone, making it a simple mode of secure identification for standalone or web-based systems such as online banking and payment transactions. VeriSpeak voice identification technology also can be used in combination with any of the other biometric modalities in MegaMatcher 4.1, including face, fingerprint, palmprint and iris, for added flexibility and security.

PayPal to Buy Mobile Payments Company Zong

PayPal (EBay's subsidiary) will be buying Zong Inc. for $240 million. The acquisition is hoped to strengthen EBay Inc.'s position in the fast-growing mobile payments and digital goods market. Zong is a US-based company that allows users make online purchases for virtual goods using their mobile phone, from mobile carriers including AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless.

With the deal, PayPal can allow its 100 million users to pay for purchases for the first time using their mobile phone. Zong currently has connections with more than 250 mobile operators in 45 countries. Zong is also the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits.

Now India has 840 Million Mobile Phone Subscribers

The number of mobile phone subscribers in India has increased from 826 million in April 2011 to 840.28 million in May 2011. Anil Ambani-headed Reliance Communications have alone added some 2.5 million subscribers, official data showed.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the wireless user base grew 1.61 percent with an addition of 13.35 million subscribers, from 826 million in April this year. With this, the total number of telephone subscribers, including land line holders, touched 874.68 million, registering a growth of 1.53 percent.

The total number of subscribers of Reliance Communications stood at 141.16 million. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone added 2.45 million subscribers each to take their subscribers base to 167.07 million and 139.43 million respectively. Idea Cellular has 1.8 million subscribers that led to an increase of its subscriber's base to 93.75 million. Uninor added 1.14 million subscribers in May 2011.

Symantec Stars Removing RSA Tokens

Symantec has started replacing its RSA SecurID tokens after the company has introduced Versign's Public Key Infrastructure platform.

According to security experts, Symantec is swapping RSA tokens because of the high-profile breach of the tokens in last March. However, the company has cited the reason of its plan to "eat its own cookie and dump RSA for Versign's Public Key Infrastructure platform".

Symantec has started off the transition overnight by enabling support of VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) and X.509 certificates for its Managed Security Services (MSS).

Symantec stated "Existing users may continue to use RSA SecurID but are encouraged to use VIP". The VeriSign tokens will be enabled for portal and phone authentication, according to the post.

17,000 E-Mail Ids and Passwords of US Government and Military Compromised

A hacker's group known as 'Connexion Hack Team' has stolen and published about 17,000 e-mail addresses and passwords of the US government and military. The group published Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail email addresses of US government officials, withholding military and other similar domains. Connexion Hack Team, however, did not disclose the source of the information, according to Australian reports.

Earlier this week, the Connexion Hack Team has collected information of the benefactors form the website California Fair Political Practices Commission, and made them public. The group wrote in a statement: "We have hacked your website, because it needed to have a checkup with the SecDoctors. We have found many errors with your website".

The group identified themselves as part of a campaign by hackers called the Anti Security or AntiSec. The campaign is meant to steal and leak classified government and company information to expose their security flaws.

McDonald's Canada Gets Visa payWave

Visa has announced that more than 1,400 McDonald's restaurants in Canada will adopt the Visa contactless payWave contactless payment system. payWave allows customers to pay for their meals with a tap of a payWave-enabled payment cards near a contactless reader or using a mobile phone.

The new technology is available only at the counter, but McDonald's said, "it will begin accepting payWave in the drive-thru later this year".

Visa's payWave cards use EMV chip technology, which has a standard 128-bit encryption to securely store and encrypt confidential information. When a customer uses a payWave terminal, the card and the terminal reader exchange security information, then conduct a secure payment transaction, all in less than one-third of a second, according to Visa.

In the UK, 1,200 McDonald's restaurants use this contactless technology for payments.

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