Researchers at Hong Kong Baptist University have come up with a novel authentication system based on spoken passwords. While that may sound old-school, the system assesses not only the password that is spoken, but the biometrics of the speaker’s lip movements.
It’s a two-factor authentication system, in other words, and one that offers the particular advantage: the credentials for this system can be changed if compromised. It’s based on computer learning, allowing the system to adapt to the biometric patterns of a new password.
There is an obvious drawback, however. The system requires the user to speak, or at least to mouth, the password, which could allow the non-biometric credential to be compromised somewhat easily. It also could prove unappealing to users who prefer the simplicity of emerging mobile authentication systems like iris scanning and facial recognition, which require little effort from the user and are relatively inconspicuous.
Still, the HKBU researchers are optimistic that their method will gain some traction and have secured a patent for their system, which they expect to be deployed in financial services applications such as mobile payments and ATM transactions, and in other sectors besides.
March 15, 2017 – by Alex Perala