DARPA: We know who you are from the way you move your mouse


DARPA: A really crazy US Military Technology Service is developing a form of biometric measurements based on how one handles his computer mouse.DARPA Vector Logo.eps

The company is preparing to add biometric behaviors, such as how a computer user handles the mouse or writes an e-mail message, to existing authentication software. Existing authentication techniques include something you know (such as your password or PIN), something you have (such as an RSA token key-fob number), and conventional biometrics (such as your fingerprints).

Researchers at the US Army academy West Point have received multi-million dollar grants when the green light from the DARPA (Advanced Defense Research ServiceOr Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Grants are part of it active authentication program of DARPA.

The program describes a behavior-based recognition technology also known as "cognitive fingerprint" that will replace outdated passwords.

The current standardized method for validating a user's identity in an IT system requires something that is inherently unnatural: creating, remembering, and managing large and complex passwords.

The Biometrics Program is geared towards creating next generation biometric features that can help users with technology coming directly from the US Department of Defense. (This is not necessarily good ...)

The combined approach of using multiple ways to continuously verify a user's identity is expected to bring very secure, valid and transparent systems. The authentication platform will be developed with open application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow the integration of other biometric software or hardware that will be available in the future from other sources.

Mark Stockley, an independent consultant, welcomed the new behavioral recognition technique and says it is far superior to other forms of identity authentication. How a user handles a mouse could be distinctive and very difficult to imitate, creating a biometric that has the advantage over fingerprint sensors.

"If effective, cognitive fingerprints could offer significant advantages over other existing forms of authentication," Stockley told Sophos' Naked Security blog.

"Unlike current biometrics used that do not require special equipment and unlike password authentication do not rely on users' memory, or whether the password is strong or not."

"Technology should also enable continuous authentication in computer systems, so that users stay connected when they are online and log off immediately when they leave."

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