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DARPA develops Active Authentication Program to Replace Conventional Biometrics

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the Department of Defense is currently working to develop a new technological breakthrough called Active Authentication program.

This innovation is a system that uses “cognitive fingerprint” scanning to identify its user instead of biometric sensors which makes use of unique physical traits.

Through shifting physical identifiable traits to behavioural traits, it is believed that the Active Authentication program is the answer for enhanced computer security.

“What I would like to do is I’d like to move us to a world where you sit down at a console, identify yourself, and you just start working,” disclosed by Richard Guidorizzi, Manager of the Beyond Passwords program, in an article on website Armed With Science. “The authentication happens in the background — invisible to you — while you continue doing your work without interruptions.”

The Active Authentication program involves several phases. The primary phase focuses on investigating biometric methods that do not require installation of additional sensors to identify a person. The authentication program will be designed to trace behavioural patterns such as a user’s writing style which will be based on his use of language and words in a document or email; thus it will also be able to determine its user through mere movement of the mouse. During this phase, developers will be seeking for the right technology to use that will be applicable for both small-scale and large-scale product deployments. The later phases of the programs will revolve on the integration of the latest technologies into a software program that will be credible and secure enough to be deployed across the desktops and laptop computers of the Department of Defense.

DARPA plans to have the authentication platform developed with open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that will enable integration with other third-party software and hardware biometrics in the future.

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