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Google acquires audio authentication startup

Security vendors claim Regin comes from either the US or UK governments

Tech giant Google has acquired Tel-Aviv based security firm provider SlickLogin for an undisclosed sum. The start up, founded less than a year ago, specialises in sound-based password alternatives.

The firm’s technology allows customers to log in to password protected websites using a uniquely generated sound. A sound is generated on the website, projected through the device’s speakers and picked up by an app on the user’s smartphone. Once authenticated, another signal is transmitted back.

SlickLogin currently has no commercial offerings on the market.

“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,” SlickLogin said in a statement on its website.

“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.”

Google has taken its focus off the handset space in recent weeks with the divestment of its Motorola Mobility handset subsidiary to Lenovo, but the sound based technology could be used in the firm’s Android mobile platform. Google has also been developing wearable technology, which does not use a touch interface and speculation suggests that this is the area in which Google will use SlickLogin’s technology.

Late last month, Lenovo announced plans to acquire Google’s handset business Motorola Mobility for around $2.91bn. The Chinese device maker said that the acquisition will give it a stronger presence in the North America and Latin America markets, as well as an entry route to the Western Europe market

Earlier that month, Google announced it will acquire Nest Labs, the cloud-enabled thermostat and smoke detector startup founded by iPod creator Tony Fadell, for £2bn ($3.2bn).

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