As cyberattacks and abstracts breaches accomplish Social Aegis numbers more insecure, the government needs to analyze new means to verify people’s identities, according to a contempo report.
“This nine-digit cardinal has become the amount credential for government and bartering purposes—things for which it was never designed,” cybersecurity advisers at McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote in a address appear Wednesday. “The [Social Aegis number] faces cogent problems as an identifier, and afterwards 80 years, it is time to improve it.”
In 2015, experts estimated amid 60 and 80 percent of Social Aegis numbers had at some point been baseborn by hackers, and that was afore the massive aperture at Equifax apparent advice on 143 actor Americans aftermost year. As a result, for best people, the cardinal “is no best a secret,” advisers said.
Still, the government needs some apparatus to accredit character and affix annal to a specific individual, they said. Instead of exploring cast new affidavit system, advisers argued for modernizing the Social Aegis cardinal to accomplish it harder to abduct and easier to defended if it does get compromised.
They assured creating a “smart” Social Aegis agenda would be the best strategy.
Like a acclaim card, the avant-garde Social Aegis agenda could be anchored with a clear dent that connects to an alien account. The dent itself would backpack a proxy cardinal that links to someone’s encrypted Social Aegis number, creating a additional band of aegis that reduces the accident of fraud. If that proxy cardinal is stolen, the government could accomplish a new one after alteration the absolute Social Aegis number, they said.
The address explores altered strategies for bond encrypted Social Aegis numbers to such proxies—like blockchain, accessible key infrastructure, adaptable authenticator apps or biometric identifiers—but they said the clandestine area would acceptable comedy a role in designing the new system.
“Modernization should change the SSN from its accepted anatomy and alter it with a activating credential that relies on online processes for acceptance and provides a aisle advanced for the acceptance of new technologies,” advisers wrote. “We acclaim acute cards as the best path.”
Lawmakers and industry experts accept continued agreed Social Aegis numbers could use an advancement for the agenda age. At a audition in May, cyber advocates abundant the risks of bundling so abounding admired assets into a distinct nine-digit cardinal afore a House panel.
“Social Aegis numbers are so acutely compromised and so broadly accessible to the public…that they can no best be acclimated as an authenticator,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a cybersecurity able at the R Street Institute. “Using my Social Aegis cardinal as an authenticator is as brainless as application the aftermost four belletrist as my aftermost name as authenticator, or the aftermost four digits of my buzz number.”
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