AOL moves beyond passwords for log-ons

Thanks to Neowin's own s.mod BOOGSoftball™ for the heads up on this news.

Passwords alone won't be enough to get onto America Online under a new, optional log-on service that makes AOL the first major U.S. online business to offer customers a second layer of security.

The so-called two-factor authentication scheme, being unveiled Tuesday, will cost $1.95 a month in addition to a one-time $9.95 fee. It is initially targeted at small businesses, victims of identity theft and individuals who pay a lot of bills and conduct other financial transactions through their AOL accounts.

Subscribers get a matchbook-size device from RSA Security Inc. displaying a six-digit code that changes every minute. The code is necessary to log on, so a scammer who guesses or steals a password cannot access the account without the device in hand.

By requiring the second, rotating password, "you don't have to remember complicated passwords to still have good security," said Scott Schnell, a senior vice president at RSA Security.

The second password will be required for checking e-mail and accessing services tied to the AOL account, including calendars, stock portfolios and AOL's Bill Pay.

View: AOL Passcode Device (Thanks mistical!)

News source: MSNBC

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