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Apple System Capable of Distinguishing Typos and Hacks

Posted by C.P. Wilder | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 06-04-2013

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iPad Rental Solution to Short-Term NeedsHave you ever had that sinking feeling of not being able to remember your password?  If you fail too many times, you are locked out.  Then the process of calling some company to go through the steps it takes to unlock your account could cause the most reasonable person want to go into a rage!  A new Apple system now has the ability to tell the difference between a failed password attempt and a hacking attempt.

Starting the patent process back in 2007, Apple has been approved and published in the USPTO records for a system that has a solution to typos vs. hackers.  All I can think about is the hours of frustration saved because I am notorious for mis-typing or forgetting my password.

This technology was designed to detect an intruder tying to access a secure network without making it impossible to handle for people who make a genuine error like a typo or thinking of the wrong password.  The system still requires a correct password and other login details to gain access.  The catch is how quickly someone gets blocked from trying again.

Administrators can set a limit for how closely an attempt must match.  If one or two characters are wrong, it will assume you have made a typing error and give you another chance. Getting more complicated, the system can actually learn the patterns of mistakes made by legitimate users.  For example, someone whose first three attempts providing a password are “987654321”, “password” and “lyla” might be identified as someone just trying their luck with common passwords and then will be blocked permanently from access to the system.  But if you make consistent mistakes like reversed letters or numbers, or mix up your passwords from another site regularly, the system might automatically discount that attempt when deciding to block or not block an attempt.

I have to wonder if this has anything to do with Apple’s recent blocking of iForgot Password System.  Apple has stated that privacy and security for its customers is very important and it appears Apple wants to go even further.  iForgot Password had flaws that allowed hackers to gain access with very little effort.  Although, it does appear that Apple has fixed the flaw and re-opened the program.  It will be interesting to see what the long-term user satisfaction results and/or level of frustration will be upon implementation and use of the system.

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