US GAO: To reduce fraud, MediCare smatrcards need biometrics

Smart cards would do little to curtail Medicare fraud: GAO (McKnight’s)

…[K]ey [smartcard] benefits, including the ability to electronically exchange beneficiary medical information and electronically convey beneficiary identity and insurance information to providers, would do little or nothing to deter fraud, experts said.

Adding certain layers of protection to smart cards like biometric biometric information or a picture ID could help to deter fraud, the GAO said.

Note: GAO = Government Accountability Office

3-D Printed Bump Keys

It appears a token technology that we’ve relied on to secure our possessions and domiciles for centuries has been hacked by clever men with 3-D printers and rubber mallets.

These 3-D Printed Skeleton Keys Can Pick High-Security Locks in Seconds (Wired)

One of the hairier unintended consequences of cheap 3-D printing is that any troublemaker can duplicate a key without setting foot in a hardware store. But clever lockpickers like Jos Weyers and Christian Holler already are taking that DIY key-making trick a step further: They can 3-D print a slice of plastic or metal that opens even high-security locks in seconds, without even seeing the original key.

The article at the link also has this very informative gif a showing how a bump key works in a lock.

Source: Wired

According to the logic employed by some critics of biometric technologies, this means locks opened using metal keys are useless now. I, for one, however, will not be contracting with any security guard services today. A fingerprint front door unlocker would be cool, though.

Which technology will revolutionize hotel room keys?

Hotels are already equipping their doors for the future — Examining technologies that can bring “non-stop check-in” to hotels at Hospitality Net.

The contenders:

  1. Smartphone with app 
  2. Traditional mobile telephone 
  3. Universally programmable key (includes certain advanced house, office or car keys) 
  4. PIN code 
  5. 2-D barcode 
  6. Fingers, hands or eyes (guests tend not to leave these items at home)

Author Keith Gruen breaks down the pros and cons.

Mobile biometrics

Mobile Biometrics: The Next Phase of Enterprise Authentication? (Network Computing)

Smartphones and tablets have the potential to become powerful platforms for enterprise authentication. By combining biometric capabilities such as a fingerprint reader or voice recognition software with mobile devices that users carry with them all the time, enterprises may be able to roll out two-factor authentication as part of an identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure.

See also: Mobile Devices and Biometric Modalities