“The salient front in this effort is preventing sensitive information from being collected by a given device, which is why the prototype phone covering is designed to block cameras and to turn all audio into white noise.”
The Air Force is testing an experimental biometric smartphone case designed to both jam any signals from its cameras and microphone, and to passively authenticate the individual using it, reports FedScoop.
The aim is to arrive at a technological solution that will allowing individuals to take their personal phones into facilities and other sensitive scenarios in which such devices would normally be temporarily confiscated.
The salient front in this effort is preventing sensitive information from being collected by a given device, which is why the prototype phone covering is designed to block cameras and to turn all audio into white noise. But it’s also important to ensure that the device is in the possession of its rightful user, and to that end the case is outfitted with biometric sensors enabling continuous, passive authentication by tracking metrics including gait and the user’s grip on the phone. Voice recognition is also reportedly in play.
The solution was developed in collaboration with the Defense Information Systems Agency, which has been pursuing such biometric authentication technologies for years now. DISA shared last year that it had developed a mobile authentication system based on behavioral biometrics; and it has also sought to develop a ‘proof of life’ authentication system that could replace the Common Access Card that is traditionally used for the military’s internal authentication.
The Air Force’s current trial, described as a pilot program, is currently testing the cases for use in low-level security scenarios, with plans to implement tests at higher levels of security going forward. Details of the project were revealed by officials at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium, hosted virtually this year by George Mason University.
May 20, 2020 – by Alex Perala