|Creating a simple authentication system without using a password which can be shared through multiple systems such as the barputer., and does not require specialized hardware to use.|
|Behind your desk, Den Bunker|
The goal of this project is to provide an easy-to-use authentication system which doesn't require a password. This comes in handy at the barputer (touch-based input), or other services not related to core management. The system should be easy to use, easy to implement, provide fair enough protection, and shouldn't require special tools or hardware.
There were a few ideas, and this should be a summary of them. If the summary becomes too long, create a page/project for it.
- Easy to implement
- Requires no central auth server (but can be used, if required - for barputer accounting)
- Requires no hardware, but hardware is recommended: the algorithm Yvanj developed is easy, and doable by hand on a sheet of paper (it's designed with calculatable by hand in mind)
- Not super secure: once the algorytm has been found, and the parameters, challenges/responses are easily faked. Should only be used on places where authentication is a benefit, but not a requirement.
- Though the algo is easy, calculating by hard requires some time. Better not start with the current time if it's 14:50.
- You would need to have the hardware with you at the barputer (same problem as paying cash: you don't always have your wallet with you at the bar).
- People who buy a drink, want a drink, not a math project.
- Requires username (is used in the calculation)
- responses revoke itself by time. (should be a little less obvious how the time is processed, to prevent forging new tokens from existing ones easily - needs rethinking if this is an issue)
- doesn't require central storage for validation of codes (but is possible to add an extra layer of security, or to store data associated with the user which must be accessible by other apps/services)
I worked out a sample implementation of this system:
- first draft (2011-09-18) C#, compilable and runnable under Mono+.net .
- printable aid for manual calculations if really necessary (mobile apps are on their way)
- Easy to use
- More secure than challenge/response authentication
- easy to transport/take with you
- Requires special hardware (barcode reader)
- Cards are easily forgotten at home, train/bus/tram, and knowing your barcode number by hard is not manageable for all people.
- Barcodes can be scanned from a cell phone screen --> no extra thing to bring. If the scanner can scan from a screen (mine can't)
- You have to have your card with you at the barputer to be able to identify yourself. So this would leave us with the same problem as people paing cash: sometimes your wallet is still in another room.
- We have to find something to put on the barcode.
- Once someone knows what's on your barcode, he can identify himself as you.
- small cards with your code on, for in a wallet
- requires central storage to validate tokens
(to be added by Koert if required, otherwise discard this section.
- Easy to implement, most of the stuff needed is already in place.
- You don't need to carry anything around with you.
- We need a keyboard at the barputer.
- There are often people hanging around at the bar, so shouldersurfing could easily go unnoticed.
- It's slower than just scannin something.
- Secure API access is required if members develop space-related apps (otherwise it'll be a quite interesting spot to start when breaking in)
- Current MALMan login system.