The researchers behind a groundbreaking study into the potential of brainwave-based user authentication have received a big new grant to continue their work. The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.2 million to be shared between researchers at Binghampton University and the University at Buffalo.
The researchers made waves earlier this year with a study indicating that the brainwaves associated with a subject’s response to specific images, measured via electroencephalogram (EEG), were unique enough to that individual that they could be used for authentication. The findings echoed previous work at Yale studying brainwave patterns associated with certain cognitive tasks, and in this case the researchers were able to claim 100 percent accuracy in identification using its small sample of 50 subjects.
Their next study is entitled “Brain Hacking: Assessing Psychological and Computational Vulnerabilities in Brain-based Biometrics,” and a Binghampton University statement says it will “investigate security vulnerabilities of brainprint biometrics and particularly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of brain biometrics”. The NSF’s grant is meant for a four-year study, so it could take some time for the research to bear fruit; but given the likelihood that other research bodies are looking into brainwave biometrics in the meanwhile, the need to investigate potential security vulnerabilities in such technologies is a pressing one.
Source: Binghampton University
November 11, 2016 – by Alex Perala