17 May 2016 Addressing the vulnerabilities of pass-thoughts
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Abstract
As biometrics become increasingly pervasive, consumer electronics are reaping the benefits of improved authentication methods. Leveraging the physical characteristics of a user reduces the burden of setting and remembering complex passwords, while enabling stronger security. Multi-factor systems lend further credence to this model, increasing security via multiple passive data points. In recent years, brainwaves have been shown to be another feasible source for biometric authentication. Physically unique to an individual in certain circumstances, the signals can also be changed by the user at will, making them more robust than static physical characteristics. No paradigm is impervious however, and even well-established medical technologies have deficiencies. In this work, a system for biometric authentication via brainwaves is constructed with electroencephalography (EEG). The efficacy of EEG biometrics via existing consumer electronics is evaluated, and vulnerabilities of such a system are enumerated. Impersonation attacks are performed to expose the extent to which the system is vulnerable. Finally, a multimodal system combining EEG with additional factors is recommended and outlined.
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Gabriel C. Fernandez, Gabriel C. Fernandez, Amanda S. Danko, Amanda S. Danko, "Addressing the vulnerabilities of pass-thoughts", Proc. SPIE 9842, Signal Processing, Sensor/Information Fusion, and Target Recognition XXV, 98421F (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223429; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223429
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