Android adds strong authentication from VeriSign

The identity protection company has released an Android version of VIP Access for Mobile, which adds extra security for logons made on mobile phones
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

VeriSign has begun offering its free VeriSign Identity Protection service, which turns handsets in strong authentication devices, for devices running Android.

The Android version of VIP Access for Mobile, which is based on VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP), was released on Thursday at the RSA Conference. It enables a handset to use strong authentication when accessing online services, such as corporate networks and mobile banking, according to VeriSign.

The application, available for free from the Android Market, supports the Nexus One and other Android-based phones from HTC, Samsung and Motorola. It already supports a roster of mobile operating systems, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and a number of Java and Brew-based technologies.

"As mobile devices become the preferred way for communicating, banking, social networking and accessing rich media content, the need for enhanced logon and transaction security is greater than ever," said Kerry Loftus, vice president of user authentication at VeriSign, in a statement. "VeriSign Identity Protection provides enterprises and consumers the tools to access a... cloud-based security solution built to foil the criminal efforts of hackers, identity thieves and fraudsters."

The application adds a layer of security to standard username and password authentication by requiring the user to enter a one-time, six-digit security code.

The release means that developers can now use the VeriSign Mobile software developer kit (SDK) to embed strong authentication into Android-based mobile applications such as mobile banking and mobile payments.

Google's Android was one of the fastest-growing smartphone operating systems in 2009, according to figures released by Gartner last month, taking an additional 3.5 percent of the smartphone market to reach 3.9 percent. The iPhone grew the most, adding 6.2 percent, to reach 14.4 percent share.

The Android OS has continued to attract high-profile new applications, including Google Earth, which was demonstrated on the platform in January.

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