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Top five FIDO Korea hackathon projects unveiled as Microsoft reviews strides in passwordless digital ID

Top five FIDO Korea hackathon projects unveiled as Microsoft reviews strides in passwordless digital ID

The top five winners of the 2020 FIDO Hackathon – Goodbye Password Challenge have been announced, and organizers have published videos detailing the journeys of the participants throughout the process as well as the winning digital ID projects and how they highlight possibilities for future FIDO authentication.

According to a FIDO blog post, Moses’ Miracle, a team of three university students majoring in computer engineering won the gold award. Their project is a gate access control system based on FIDO authentication, and is a smartphone-based digital identity system that helps people access different security areas much faster and more conveniently without remembering passwords, physical keys, or smart cards, the blog post states. The solution is also said to be less time-consuming and less costly.

Two groups, Protect Homes and Dr. Who, both won the Silver award. Protect Homes, as per the FIDO post, is a team of two developers and two designers that work on a FIDO-authentication integrated passwordless system powered by a management app for internet of things for the strengthening of security for smart home ecosystems.

The Dr. Who team, on its part, developed a Proof of Concept project, introducing smart health insurance card services that link distributed identity technology and FIDO authentication. The team that comprised a project manager, two developers, and a public healthcare specialist from the World Health Organization (WHO), sought to solve the problem with physical health insurance cards which are said not to be effective enough in checking patients’ real identities.

Fingerprint 486 and Add Wi-fi Security (AWS) are the two groups that bagged the bronze award. Fingerprint 486 is a group of seven university students that came up with a FIDO authentication-based document sharing system, which grants file access rights more securely and conveniently without sharing passwords; while AWS built a FIDO authentication-based passwordless Wi-Fi router control system, which does not disclose an administrator’s information.

With the Korea hackathon already held successfully in two years already, the organizers of the challenge say they are exploring possibilities for extending it to the entire Asia-Pacific region or globally in 2021.

Microsoft’s passwordless strides

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s corporate vice president in charge of identity program management, Alex Simons, has listed some of the achievements in passwordless identity and access management which the tech giant registered in the course of 2020.

In a blog post on the company website, Simons called 2020 “a breakthrough year for passwordless digital identity technology,” and said they were also looking forward to releasing “…a converged registration portal in 2021, where all users can seamlessly manage passwordless credentials via the My Apps portal.”

Simons mentioned Microsoft’s desire to totally get rid of passwords, enumerating a number of disadvantages associated with them, including security risks for individuals and organizations. He said the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that cybercrime costs the global economy $2.9 million every minute, with roughly 80 percent of those attacks directed at passwords.

As at May 2020, he said more than 150 million people were already using Microsoft’s passwordless sign-in every month and that the use of biometrics to access work accounts on their platforms is now more than double what it was then.

Simons also wrote about the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, which he said is an ecosystem of security partners who have integrated their solutions with Microsoft to better defend against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.  He said four of the members namely YubiKey, HID Global, Trustkey, and AuthenTrend distinguished themselves in the course of the year for their efforts in championing the adoption of passwordlesss technology globally.

“We’re all hoping the coming year will bring a return to normal and that passwordless access will at least make our online lives a little easier. We’ve drawn strength from our customers’ determination this year and are set to make passwordless access a reality for all our customers in 2021” he stated.

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