News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
You are here: Home / Apple/Mac / Thoughts to Replace Passwords?
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Your Thoughts Could Become Your New Online Password
Your Thoughts Could Become Your New Online Password
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
APRIL
10
2013

If your mind is chockful of all those passwords you have, hold that thought. A team of researchers has developed a way to use unique brain patterns, derived from thinking a specific thought, as a password.

A research team at the University of California-Berkeley's School of Information has used biosensors to measure brainwaves of subjects who are thinking of a song, an image or other mental imaging. The sensor touches the subject's forehead and transmits a electroencephalogram (EEG). The unique brainwaves can then be ID'd and used as "passthoughts."

The researchers utilized a commercially available headset that retails for $100 and transmits the patterns via Bluetooth to a computer. The team, lead by School of Information professor John Chuang, presented their findings this week at the 2013 Workshop on Usable Security, which took place at the 17th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security in Okinawa, Japan.

Similar to Music Headset

Biometric identification has been touted for the last several decades as a Next Big Thing, but systems designed to take advantage of humans' unique fingerprints, retina patterns, voice or facial ID have been hindered in their widespread adoption by cost, slowness, lack of standards or necessary hardware, and, frequently, a sense that body IDs were just a little too personal.

The researchers note that traditional clinical EEGs require dense electrode arrays in order to record 32, 64, 128 or 256 channels of EEG, but newer consumer-grade headsets require only one dry-contact sensor on one's forehead to read signals from the left frontal lobe.

The headset used was the Neurosky MindSet. The researchers noted that, except for the EEG sensor, the headset is otherwise "indistinguishable from a conventional Bluetooth headset" that is used with mobile phones or music players.

Do Brain Patterns Change?

The team said that, by customizing the authentication threshold for each user, they were able to keep error rates under 1 percent. Uses were asked to perform several different mental tasks, three that were done by all the users and four that were individualized and secret to a given user.

For the common tasks, the participants were asked to focus on their breathing, imagine moving their finger up and down, or listen to an audio tone while focusing on a dot on a piece of paper. Personalized secrets including imagining a repetitive motion from a sport, such as swinging a golf club or kicking a ball, silently singing a song of their choice, or choosing their own thought and focusing on it for ten seconds.

The researchers have not yet tested whether someone's thought patterns could be duplicated, or if the system could otherwise be hacked.

Brad Shimmin, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, noted that biometrics could be appealing, but they've never quite materialized. He wondered if one's "brain patterns change over time," specifically considering research that indicates when you remember something, you're actually remembering your last memory of it -- meaning that memory degradation is built-in.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN APPLE/MAC
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Are Government Spies Tipping Off Tor?
Less than a month ago, tech news headlines heralded a Tor Project breach. Now, some are saying that government spies are sharing information with Tor to help it prevent future breaches.
 
Backoff Malware Hits 1,000+ Businesses, Likely More
More than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. might have been affected by Backoff, a new kind of point-of-sale (PoS) malware, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
 
PlayStation Network Back Online After Attack
Sony’s PlayStation and Entertainment Network are back online after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack crashed the systems on Sunday. But Sony says no personal info was accessed.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Verizon Hops on the Voice-Over-LTE Bandwagon
Wireless provider Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide launch of its Voice-over-LTE service over the next several weeks, promising clearer and crisper phone calls and a Skype-like video service.
 
Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Law in California; Will Other States Follow?
California’s new law -- signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday -- aimed at deterring cellphone theft could mean most mobile phones sold in the U.S. will soon include similar “kill-switch” tech.
 
Apple To Replace 'Small Percentage' of iPhone 5 Batteries
If you've noticed your iPhone 5 isn't acting right, it might be because of a bad battery -- and you might be eligible for a replacement. Apple is offering new batteries, though only for a small percentage of users.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.