Google has acquired SlickLogin, an Israeli security startup that has developed a product that uses unique high-frequency sounds and a smartphone to help simplify the process of securely signing in to Web services.
The announcement was made on the official website of SlickLogin:
SlickLogin Joins Google
We started SlickLogin because security measures had become overly complicated and annoying.
Our friends thought we were insane, but we knew we could do better. So we set out to improve security while still making it simple for people to log in.
Today we`re announcing that the SlickLogin team is joining Google, a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way. Google was the first company to offer 2-step verification to everyone, for free – and they’re working on some great ideas that will make the internet safer for everyone. We couldn`t be more excited to join their efforts.
SlickLogin’s three founders, Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli only began developing their product last August, presented it at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco in September and officially formed the company in December. Zelig, the Tel Aviv-based company’s CEO; Galili, its vice president of technology; and Kabeli, who heads research and development, will be joining Google’s development center this week and become part of the company’s global security team.
Since Google was early to the idea of offering two-factor authentication as an option to help secure its many services — such as Gmail — it’s clearly acquiring this company in order to enhance those capabilities. If you use two-factor authentication now, the most common way is to use an app on your smartphone that generates a new six-digit number that changes every 30 seconds after you’ve entered your password. The point is that you’re entering something you know, and supplementing it with something you have that is more or less impossible for a hacker to guess. It’s not perfect, but it goes a long way toward making your account harder to hack.
A site enabled with SlickLogin’s technology can use your computer’s speakers to generate a high-frequency sound that’s silent to human ears but which can be picked up by the microphone on a smartphone. The phone has to be close to the computer. Each audio signal is unique, and based on a unique numerical key that’s generated on the back end. The service can also be used to sign into banks, corporate VPNs and pretty much any other kind of service.
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