Taking photos with a wink, checking one's calendar with a glance of the right eye, reading text messages — the multinational cooperation Google wants to make it possible with Google Glass.
But what IT experts celebrate as a new milestone makes privacy groups skeptical. So far, few people have access to the prototype to test how it can be used in daily life. "Thanks to the Max Planck Institute for Informatics we are one of the few universities in Germany that can do research with Google Glass", says Dominique Schröder, assistant professor of Cryptographic Algorithms at Saarland University.
Mark Simkin wants to use "Google Glass" to withdraw money at a cash machine in such a secure way that no spying is possible.
Credit: Oliver Dietze
The futuristic-looking device consists of a glasses frame on which a camera and a mini computer are installed. It depicts information in the user's field of vision via a glass prism that is installed at the front end of the right temple. According to the German computer magazine "c't", this causes an effect "as if the user were looking at a 24 inch screen from a distance of two and a half meters". Schröder, who also does research at the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA), located only a few yards away, is aware of the data security concerns with Google Glass:
"We know that you can use it to abuse data. But it can also be used to protect data." To prove this, Schröder and his group combine "Google Glass" with cryptographic methods and techniques from automated image analysis to create the software system "Ubic". By using Ubic, withdrawing money at a cash machine would change as follows: The customer identifies himself to the cash machine.
This requests from a reliable instance the public key of the customer. It uses the key to encrypt the one-way personal identification number (PIN) and seals it additionally with a "digital signature", the digital counterpart of the conventional signature. The result shows up on the screen as a black-and-white pattern, a so-called QR code. The PIN that is hidden below is only visible for the identified wearer of the glasses. Google Glass decrypts it and shows it in the wearer's field of vision."
Although the process occurs in public, nobody is able to spy on the PIN", explains Schröder. This is not the case if PINs are sent to a smart phone. To spy on the PIN while it is being entered would also be useless, since the PIN is re-generated each time the customer uses the cash machine. An attacker also wearing a Google Glass is not able to spy on the process, either. The digital signature guarantees that no assailant is able to intrude between the customer and the cash machine as during the so-called "skimming", where the assailant can impersonate the customer.
Only the customer is able to decrypt the encryption by the public key with his secret key. As long as this is safely stored on the Google Glass, his money is also safe. At the computer expo Cebit, the researchers will also present how Google Glass can be used to hide information. Several persons all wearing Google Glass can read the same document with encrypted text at the same time, but in their fields of vision they can only see the text passages that are intended for them.
"This could be interesting, for example, for large companies or agencies that are collecting information in one document, but do not want to show all parts to everybody", explains Mark Simkin, who was one of the developers of Ubic. A large electric company has already sent a request to the computer scientists in Saarbrücken. Google Glass is expected to enter the American market this year.
Background information about computer science research at Saarland University in Germany
The Department of Computer Science represents the center of computer science research in Saarbrücken. Seven other worldwide renowned research institutes are close by the department: The Max Planck Institutes for Informatics and for Software Systems, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Center for Bioinformatics, the Intel Visual Computing Institute, the Center for IT Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA) and the Cluster of Excellence "Multimodal Computing and Interaction".
Project video: http://goo.gl/4mS0Jq
Phone: +49 681 302-71922
Competence Center of Informatics
Phone: +49 (0)681 302-70741
Dominique Schroeder | EurekAlert!
Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize
19.11.2018 | University of Tokyo
Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers
15.11.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
19.11.2018 | Life Sciences
19.11.2018 | Life Sciences
19.11.2018 | Event News