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Whenever you authenticate access to an online account, whether it be email, your bank, eBay or your weblog, there are certain, commonly used methods to add a layer of security, known as two-factor authentication:
1) checking by what you have, i.e. a PayPal security RSA key, a bank card with a CVV number, etc.
2) verifying with what you know, the so-called “life questions”, like “What street did you grow up on?” or “What is your mother’s maiden name?”, which are pre-entered.
3) authenticating with who you are, like fingerprint/retina/voice/face recognition, etc. This one is usually considered as a third-factor authentication because it requires hardware that is considerably more sophisticated than the previous two.
What if you could add a fourth factor: who you know? That’s exactly what the folks at the RSA Laboratories examined in their paper entitled “Fourth Factor Authorization: Who You Know”.
Read the paper here.