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FBI Cybersecurity Expert Abagnale: Passwords Are 'The Root Of All Evil'

Frank Abagnale, the teenage check forger turned FBI security expert popularized by the film "Catch Me If You Can," says passwords are an antiquated technology that should be shelved once and for all.

Frank Abagnale, an FBI cybersecurity specialist and identity fraud expert, wants to get rid of passwords.

"This is a 1970s technology, and passwords are the root of all evil. They’re stagnant, they need to be gone and everybody wants to get rid of them," Abagnale told CRN.

The largest banks in the United States spend millions each month on resetting passwords in their call centers. And while eliminating passwords can lead to significant savings for these institutions, in order to do so, the right technology needs to be in place.

The right technology, according to Abagnale, is Trusona - a cloud identity suite that accurately identifies who is on the other end of a device, ensuring there is no malware or replay.

"We for once now have a technology that we can eliminate a password, and you walking up to an ATM machine would simply be you moving out your phone, pressing down your thumbprint, holding it up to the screen and a QCR code will come up," said Abagnale, who is an advisor at Trusona. "It’s encrypted, it’ll only be up there 28 seconds, you’ll click and you’re into the ATM machine. No card, no password, it’s as simple as that."

Abagnale sees additional benefits of the technology a few years down the road, including eliminating the need to verbally share a social security number or date of birth, and the automated transfer of scanable credit reports.

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