June 26, 2017

On Brain Teasers at Job Interviews

Filed under: Philosophy — dvd @ 9:54 pm

I went to a few job interviews during past weeks. Most interviewers asked me to tell about problems I had solved, and to suggest a solution to a problem they really needed to solve. Some though offered me to solve brain teasers — problems they (or others) invented to test candidates. I solved most, but I felt bad about it. I can imagine many bright candidates who would fail an interview because of brain teasers.

Brain teasers are wrong — that’s my gut feeling, but I had hard time finding an argument to support my gut feeling. Now I have one. Here is the story of a 250 years old job interview.

June 12, 2017

Social pal-based authentication

Filed under: Computer Science, Cup of coffee — dvd @ 8:01 am

We can make multi-factor authentication actually work by relying on human’s unparalleled ability to recognize acquaintances and detect impersonators.

Multi-factor authentication, a mechanism where the user provides two or more loosely coupled evidences of their identity, has become ubiquitous in access management of computer systems. Compared to a single factor authentication, no single piece of information about the user is sufficient for authentication, and account take-over requires obtaining multiple kinds of information about the user.

However, known multi-factor authentication schemes rely on a single user’s knowledge, possession, and inherence. Consequently, while breaking multi-factor authentication is harder than breaking single-factor, password or key based, authentication, it still requires access to a single entity only.


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