Researchers announce today that graphics processors commonly used for gaming may hold the secret to the future of user authentication online
|This announcement comes from the European project “Physically unclonable functions found in standard PC components” (PUFFIN). In this project Intrinsic-ID B.V. (Eindhoven) is joining forces with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Technische Universität Darmstadt, and Eindhoven University of Technology to show the existence of unique Physically Unclonable Function (PUF) properties in common computer hardware.
Graphic cards and security
Any passionate gamer knows the investment it takes to create a good character and the dangers of identity theft to which he is exposed by playing. Securely identifying the gamer’s hardware can stop identity theft. In addition, authentication via PUF properties in already existing hardware means that the operator of the gaming platform can push the extra security feature via a software update without the need for action on the user side.
Having found PUF properties in graphics processors, the PUFFIN researchers are now searching for similar manufacturing differences in other commodity hardware such as mobile phones, while exploring further applications of easy access to unforgeable electronic identities. The results of the PUFFIN project will lead to new user benefits: for example, it may be possible to use these physically unclonable functions to encrypt disks, protecting those disks against theft without requiring users to remember long passwords.