Security Experts:

Google Acquires Authentication-by-Sound Startup SlickLogin

Google has quietly acquired security startup SlickLogin, an Israeli company working on innovative authentication solutions that leverage mobile and audio technology.

Founded by three graduates of the Israeli Defense Force’s elite cyber security unit, SlickLogin’s founders say they started the company “because security measures had become overly complicated and annoying.”

As Techcrunch explained when the company launched, “SlickLogin can use a bunch of protocols to start verifying your phone’s position: WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, visual markers like QR codes, and of course, GPS. Their self-dubbed “secret sauce”, though, is their use of uniquely generated sounds intentionally made inaudible to the human ear. Your computer plays the sound through its speakers, while an app on your smartphone uses the device’s built-in microphone to pick up the audio.”

While the company is working on the technology, it has not publicly launched a product yet.

“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,” the SlickLogin team wrote on their company web site.

Google has not said if or how SlickLogin’s technology would be integrated into its security measures, but the founders of startup hint that they will be working as part of Google’s two-factor authentication product team.

“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,” they wrote. “We couldn't be more excited to join their efforts.”

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.