Celebrity Hack Aside, Apple Is On The Brink Of A Security Breakthrough (AAPL)

Apple looks bad after the theft of thousands of nude photos of celebrities allegedly taken from its iCloud servers, even if the company denies responsibility. The fiasco is one reason that company shares fell 4.2% on Wednesday, and some have warned it could spoil the expected Sept. 9 announcement of the iPhone 6 and a smartwatch.

But Apple is not alone in cybersecurity vulnerability. Home Depot, Target, UPS, and thousands of other businesses have suffered major data breaches, while more than a billion passwords were recently stolen from around the web by Russian hackers, with untold more taken through the Heartbleed bug

More than any one company, it’s cybersecurity in general that is broken. Passwords have become unreliable, especially since few people have the wherewithal to create, remember, and update dozens of long and unique passwords — and solutions offered by password managers are unwieldy, as I’ve learned while using LastPass for the past few weeks.

In the face of this crisis, Apple may be closer than anyone to a viable solution.

It starts with the fingerprint sensor in the iPhone. Introduced in the iPhone 5S, this technology works much better than versions in other phones and while not infallible it is very secure, with fingerprint data stored in highly encrypted form on the device and nowhere else.

So far this technology has been available for logging into iPhones and making purchases from Apple, but it was opened up to third-party developers earlier this summer.

Letting other apps use it could make all mobile payments much more secure — so much so that analysts are warning PayPal and other mobile-payment competitors are in trouble.

What’s more, adding fingerprint technology to password managers, as promised by 1Password and hinted by LastPass, could finally make those programs work smoothly.

And current fingerprint technology is just the beginning.

A recent Apple patent for a way to change security requirements based on location mentions the possibility of “DNA, fingerprints, retinal scans, voice identification, cadence of typing, walking, talking, and other biometric identification methods.” In other words, highly secure multifactor authentication systems are likely in the works.

All told, these innovations could boost Apple’s mobile security by leaps and bounds.

As for nude selfies, however, we’re still waiting for assurance from Apple that iCloud — For more information read the original article here.    

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