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SRI wins $12.5M IARPA contract to research and develop dynamic biometrics

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News

SRI International has been awarded a four-year $12.5 million contract by IARPA’s Odin Program to research and develop “dynamic biometrics” that can more effectively detect attempts to evade or dupe biometric security systems.

By spotting these “presentation attacks”, the research organization will be able to address key flaws in current generation biometric security systems.

This will ultimately expand biometric use cases beyond relatively low risk applications such as unlocking a person’s phone, or applications in which a human guard must be present to detect and stop overtly suspicious activity.

“Biometric systems will not be successful unless technical solutions providing reliable but low cost detection of currently unknown presentation attacks can be developed,” said Jeffrey Lubin, Ph.D., senior research scientist at SRI and principal investigator for SRI’s Odin team. “We believe the dynamic biometrics developed in this IARPA Odin Program, which includes deep collaboration between SRI’s computer sciences and biosciences researchers, will greatly expand the range of uses for biometric systems, benefiting people, businesses and governments around the world.”

SRI International will create and deliver a prototype Multi-physiological Joint Optimization and Liveness Nuances for Identity Ratification system to defeat known and unknown presentation attacks.

For the project, the company has put together a multidisciplinary team with a range of expertise in human physiology (SRI’s expertise in biosciences, signal analytics and machine learning), dynamic 3D imaging (Compact Imaging), 3D shape and behavioral dynamics modeling (CMU, SRI), and system development, evaluation and deployment (SRI).

Though conventional biometrics rely on static surface images of human tissue, the SRI team’s approach in the Odin program involves scanning tissue below the skin surface to detect dynamic physiological data that is undetected by conventional scanners.

SRI has selected NUI Galway and its partner Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI) to use its technology as a critical component in the development of ‘dynamic biometrics’ for improved detection of attacks.

Compact Imaging’s MRO (Multiple Reference OCT) delivers well-established, non-invasive, OCT (optical coherence tomography) imaging to high volume field applications that require small size and low cost, such as biometric security systems for identity authentication.

MRO directly detects fake fingerprints, determines liveness and images tissue in depth to reveal sub-dermal fingerprints, which can be collected from wet, worn or dry fingers. These sub-dermal fingerprints lie below the surface fingerprints that are stored on biometric databases.

As part of the project, SRI and its partners will measure and analyze real-time physiological responses of living tissue to external and internal stimuli.

By analyzing such factors as changes in heart rate, perspiration and blood flow, the system will reliably detect whether these tissues are authentic or being counterfeited.

This project will also capitalize on rapid advances in Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which is considered the world’s fastest growing medical imaging technology.

The correlation mapping OCT algorithm provides the most secure approach to fingerprint biometrics, by imaging the pattern of tiny blood vessels which provide the fingerprint.

“We are delighted that Compact Imaging has been chosen by SRI for dynamic biometric authentication applications,” Professor Martin Leahy, chair of Applied Optics and director of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Laboratory at NUI Galway, which directs the collaboration’s research efforts in Galway. “ Our collaboration with Compact Imaging to advance OCT and MRO has been an ideal partnership in which our team has provided substantial research for applications critical to society worldwide.”

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