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Sound-based login startup joins tech chorus

18 February 2014, 06:56

San Francisco - An Israel-based startup specialising in using sounds instead of passwords for logging in said on Monday it has been bought by Google.

SlickLogin did not disclose financial terms of the deal, and Google did not respond to an AFP request for comment about the acquisition.

"We started SlickLogin because security measures had become overly complicated and annoying," the startup's three-member team said in a post on their website.

"Our friends thought we were insane, but we knew we could do better."

The SlickLogin trio in Tel Aviv said they are joining the Google team with the mission of making the internet safer for people while keeping the log-in process easy.

The founders of the company are billed as products of the cyber security unit of the Israel Defence Forces.

SlickLogin is barely two months old and has yet to field a commercial product but is reported to be developing a way to protect online accounts with a technique akin to sonic handshakes.

The technology involves sending barely audible sounds through computer speakers and then having the users' smartphones recognise the unique tones and respond in kind. It also reportedly factors in the location of smartphones.

"Just place your phone next to your laptop\tablet and you can login," SlickLogin said.

SlickLogin technology could replace passwords in some cases but is more likely to be looked at for use as an added layer of security in what is referred to as "two-factor authentication" to thwart cyber criminals.



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