US military developing identity verification system based on behavioral biometrics

The US military is developing a new “cognitive” identity verification system at West Point that could ultimately replace passwords, fingerprints and iris recognition systems for web users, according to a report by Sky News.

The system uses “cognitive fingerprints” instead of physical characteristics such as palms, face, DNA or iris recognition and is described in a contract document seen by Sky News.

The biometric API centers around behavioural-based biometrics in which algorithms are used to confirm identity based on the way an individual uses desktop or mobile devices.

This can include observing the rhythm of writing, how a mouse or cursor is moved, frequent typographical errors, and even typing speed.

“Just as when you touch something with your finger you leave behind a fingerprint, when you interact with technology you do so in a pattern based on how your mind processes information, leaving behind a ‘cognitive fingerprint. The biometrics program is creating a next generation biometric capability built from multiple stylometric/behavioural modalities using standard Department of Defence computer hardware.”

Stylometrics is being used to analyze how text is constructed, as well as to check for academic authorship and plagiarism.

The military said it will likely develop the system to be used for encrypted data communications across all of its services under the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency active authentication program.

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