Ambient noise could be your next multi-factor authentication token

We’re all pretty used to two-factor authentication now, and it isn’t much of an inconvenience to have to type in a four-digit code when you log in from a new location. But some Swiss security researchers came up with a smart way to authenticate without even that tiny amount of work: ambient noise.

The idea behind multi-factor authentication is basically making sure that a login is by the actual user, not an impersonator or hacker. Sending a code to a second device owned by the user is one way to check, but it’s far from the only option.

Futurae is a spin-off company from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich — ETHZ in Swiss — that uses the environment itself as an authentication token in a piece of software it calls Sound-Proof.

When a service wants to do an…

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