Sony Seeks Blockchain Patent for User Authentication System

Electronics giant Sony has proposed a two-part blockchain-based multi-factor authentication system in a new patent application.

AccessTimeIconOct 30, 2017 at 8:16 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:05 a.m. UTC

Japanese tech conglomerate Sony may be looking to apply blockchain to a proposed user login system, according to a new patent application.

Released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Oct. 26, the document outlines how the electronics maker might use two different blockchain platforms in conjunction with each other as part of a multi-factor authentication system (MFA).

MFA systems work by giving users two different credentials to log into a website or program. After a user enters a standard username and password, an authentication token generates a code, which they must also input to gain access. The idea is that while an attacker might be able to gain a user's password, they usually cannot also gain access to the token, which generates a different code for every login.

According to Sony's application, one of their proposed blockchain platforms would create these authentication codes, while the other would receive them to confirm a user's identity when they try to commit a transaction through the platform. Possible transactions include data "transfer, contract generation and asset transfer," according to the application.

Whether the work outlined in the patent application dovetails with Sony's previously disclosed work with blockchain remains to be seen.

Earlier this year, Sony announced an educational platform it is developing in conjunction with IBM, set for a launch sometime next year. The platform will use a blockchain to store student records securely, with the idea being that the technology can provide additional transparency for stakeholders.

The company said in a statement that it plans to continue looking into blockchain technology for different fields, including in supply chain and logistics, indicating other areas in which the proposed intellectual property could be applied.

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