Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

DARPA Seeks New Methods For Biometric Authentication

Defense Department invites experts to discuss ways to identify people when they sign into to computers without interrupting their normal activity flow.

Obama's Tech Tools
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Obama's TechTools
The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking ways to biometrically identifying people when they sign in to use computers without interrupting their normal activity flow.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Active Authentication Program aims to develop software to identify "the individual at the keyboard … through the activities the user normally performs," according to an agency posting on FedBizOpps.gov announcing an Industry Day event about the program next week.

"The Active Authentication program changes the current paradigm by removing the secret that a human holds, the password, and focuses on the secret that the human specifically is," according to DARPA.

Biometric authentication for computers already exists, but usually it is done through an extra step a use must take when logging in, such as pressing a finger to a pad that can scan and identify someone through their fingerprint.

[ Where is DARPA focusing security research efforts? Read DARPA Boosts Cybersecurity Research Spending 50%. ]

Iris scanning--in which a person is identified by a machine that captures an image of his or her iris--also is another popular biometric-authentication method, but normally for larger form-factor machines, such as airport security scanners.

DARPA, however, wants to skip any extra steps and locate biometric factors to identify someone while they're working naturally at the keyboard, according to the agency. The initial goal for the program is to identify someone working at a desktop in a typical DOD office environment.

On the Industry Day, DARPA plans to discuss its ideas for new approaches to biometrics and identify potential participants in the program.

Given the vulnerabilities of traditional password authentication systems, the federal government has been working on biometric options for identifying users of its systems and facilities to more firmly secure access to them.

To that end, the feds are developing biometric ID cards that include options for both fingerprint and iris scans for all federal employees and contractors when entering facilities or using computer systems. The move is mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which is aimed at increasing security and efficiency, reducing identity fraud, cutting costs, and protecting personal privacy.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Aviation Faces Increasing Cybersecurity Scrutiny
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
Microsoft Tops Phishers' Favorite Brands as Facebook Spikes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
MoviePass Leaves Credit Card Numbers, Personal Data Exposed Online
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-6154
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The authentication applet in Watchguard Fireware 11.11 Operating System has reflected XSS (this can also cause an open redirect).
CVE-2019-5594
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
An Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation ("Cross-site Scripting") in Fortinet FortiNAC 8.3.0 to 8.3.6 and 8.5.0 admin webUI may allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform a reflected XSS attack via the search field in the webUI.
CVE-2019-6695
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
Lack of root file system integrity checking in Fortinet FortiManager VM application images of all versions below 6.2.1 may allow an attacker to implant third-party programs by recreating the image through specific methods.
CVE-2019-12400
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
In version 2.0.3 Apache Santuario XML Security for Java, a caching mechanism was introduced to speed up creating new XML documents using a static pool of DocumentBuilders. However, if some untrusted code can register a malicious implementation with the thread context class loader first, then this im...
CVE-2019-15092
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The webtoffee "WordPress Users & WooCommerce Customers Import Export" plugin 1.3.0 for WordPress allows CSV injection in the user_url, display_name, first_name, and last_name columns in an exported CSV file created by the WF_CustomerImpExpCsv_Exporter class.