TypingDNA develops biometric two-factor authentication replacement for traditional SMS OTPs

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TypingDNA has unveiled software to replace the questionable security of SMS one-time passwords (OTPs) with typing biometrics for user authentication.

The new Verify multi-factor authentication method improves user experience and lowers costs by an order of magnitude, the company says.

Patent-pending technology replaces traditional SMS OTPs as a second authentication factor with a popup window in which users type a few words to match their typing biometrics, as depicted in a promotional video.

Alternatively, in the case of a false negative match, such as due to a user typing with only one hand or with the device upside-down, or if they prefer to opt out, a traditional OTP workflow is activated. The smart authentication mechanism sends SMS codes only to establish a root of trust, the company says.

TypingDNA Verify uses a state-of-the-art authentication engine to select phrases that enable higher matching accuracy with shorter tests.

The solution costs 1 cent per active user per month, regardless of the number of verifications. In a bid to scale quicky to 100 million users, TypingDNA is also offering the behavioral biometric technology free for a year to the first companies that sign up for Verify. A mobile solution is planned for future release.

In a thread on Product Hunt, TypingDNA Co-founder and CEO Raul Popa was asked how typing four words could be faster than the six characters in a passcode. He answers that while the company is not certain why this is, its solution is much faster than traditional 2FA OTPs.

Popa elaborates that “a 6 digit code is harder to remember in one step so you’ll need to go back and forth at least 1 time (typical use), you also need to find the phone, make sure it’s unlocked, look for the right notification, wait for it to arrive, make sure phone doesn’t go to sleep while typing the digits/alphanumeric codes in the app.”

Elsewhere, he notes that Verify is already in production with multiple clients, all of which are continuing to use it.

The company also announced a free unlimited developer plan to support integrations of typing biometrics in late-2020.

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