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Security measure designed to protect a communications system against fraudulent transmissions and establish the authenticity of a message.


The verification of the identity of a person or process. In a communication system, authentication verifies that messages really come from their stated source, like the signature on a (paper) letter. The most common form of authentication is typing a user name (which may be widely known or easily guessable) and a corresponding password that is presumed to be known only to the individual being authenticated. Another form of authentication is biometrics.


(1) Verifying the integrity of a transmitted message. See message integrity, email authentication and MAC.

(2) Verifying the identity of a user logging into a network. Passwords, digital certificates, smart cards and biometrics can be used to prove the identity of the client to the network. Passwords and digital certificates can also be used to identify the network to the client. The latter is important in wireless networks to ensure that the desired network is being accessed. See identity management, identity metasystem, OpenID, human authentication, challenge/response, two-factor authentication, password, digital signature, IP spoofing, biometrics and CAPTCHA.

Four Levels of Proof

There are four levels of proof that people are indeed who they say they are. None of them are entirely foolproof, but in order of least to most secure, they are:

1 - What You Know
Passwords are widely used to identify a user, but only verify that somebody knows the password.

2 - What You Have
Digital certificates in the user's computer add more security than a password, and smart cards verify that users have a physical token in their possession, but both laptops and smart cards can be stolen.

3 - What You Are
Biometrics such as fingerprints and iris recognition are more difficult to forge, but you have seen such systems fooled in the movies all the time!

4 - What You Do
Dynamic biometrics such as hand writing a signature and voice recognition are the most secure; however, replay attacks can fool the system.
References in periodicals archive ?
The authentification of each electronic recording requires the presence of a witness, under oath, that is willing to answer a set of questions, in order to prove the effieciency of evidence, to state the identity of the digital recordings and the existence of a policy for the information security, that must define the general directives, at the organisational level, regarding the information security, trials and principles for the use of criptography.
4) By contrast, because of an alteration in the activity of a specific lipase during the ripening period of saw palmetto berries, the acidity of saw palmetto extract may vary substantially, so the acid value alone cannot fully support a total fatty acid test for the authentification of saw palmetto extract.
The key point of the construction in Shenzhen was to promote and improve enterprise and the public-oriented online service application system, along with the reform of the examination and approval system, including the switch platform of electronic security authentification, a unified information exchange platform and other application programs serving the society.
Smart cards are more secure than prox cards because you can embed a digital certificate and/or biometric template on a smart card, its card serial number (CSN) can be encrypted, and mutual authentification between card and reader is possible.
Data is transferred via encrypted data tunnels, validation and authentification certificates, password control and operate and Rsync/ssh protocol controls are used.
According to STA Travel's webmaster, Craig Hepburn, STA requires image authentification for posts to safeguard against email spiders and other automated programs that troll for personal information and post spam in blog comments.
The company's offerings include access control, Computer based Internet authentification, Biometric Smart Cards and services for biometric data capture, mobile POS systems, and backend standards-based modules and software components for biometric matching and data mining.
Kant interprets this kind of fictionalization of history as a motive for its own authentification of the idea of freedom.
Clients do not have to read through the blog for authentification.
Another new track focused on Supply Chain and Security provides a strong foundation in the fundamentals of RFID technology and its application to product authentification and supply chain security.
Fifth, when it comes to the authentification of documents was built around documentary evidence, I know Prof.
Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church.