Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineers use keyboard, mouse and mobile device 'fingerprints' to protect data

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
Engineers are working to protect computer networks and data by using unique keyboard, computer mouse and mobile device "fingerprints."

Iowa State's Morris Chang, Terry Fang and Danny Shih, left to right, are working to use typing, mouse and mobile device use patterns to secure networks and data.
Credit: Photo by Amy Vinchattle/Iowa State University

We've all typed in a password to access a computer network. But how secure is that? Passwords can be hacked or hijacked to get at sensitive personal, corporate or even national security data.

Related Articles


That reality has Iowa State engineers looking for methods beyond passwords to verify computer users and protect data. They started by tracking individual typing patterns; now they're working to identify and track individual patterns for using a mobile device or a computer mouse.

Morris Chang, an Iowa State University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, says the patterns are unique to individuals.

"These pauses between words, searches for unusual characters and spellings of unfamiliar words, all have to do with our past experiences, our learning experiences," he said. "And so we call them 'cognitive fingerprints' which manifest themselves in typing rhythms."

Prototype software technology developed by Chang and his research team can identify differences in typing rhythms: In experiments at Iowa State involving more than 2,000 computer users, the technology recorded false acceptance and rejection rates of .5 percent.

"Our technology is able to distinguish legitimate users versus imposters, based on the large-scale experiments we've been able to conduct," Chang said.

He also said engineers can improve those accuracy rates by combining analysis of typing patterns with analysis of mouse or mobile device patterns.

A defense initiative The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense has supported Chang's study of typing patterns with a one-year grant of $500,000. It is now supporting additional work in mobile device and mouse patterns with a two-year, $1.76 million grant.

Working with Chang to develop the cyber security technologies are Terry Fang, Kuan-Hsing Ho and Danny Shih, Iowa State graduate students in electrical and computer engineering.

Chang said studies of keystroke dynamics go all the way back to the Morse code days. But he said the earlier attempts weren't accurate enough to reliably identify users. The available technology just wasn't up to the job.

"The technology we use today helped us to facilitate our research approach," Chang said.

The engineers' Cognitive Typing Rhythm technology records and collects a computer user's typing patterns during a 90-minute typing exercise. That information is then loaded into the security system where it can be used to constantly monitor network users.

"The system can see if the same person or an imposter is coming in to hijack the computer," Chang said.

And when the system detects a hijacking, Chang said it could lock a user out of the network, restrict access to sensitive information or ask for another password.

The technology operates behind the scenes and is invisible to computer users. It doesn't require any additional hardware. And it's now available for licensing from the Iowa State University Research Foundation.

"When you use a computer today, the user is typically only verified during the initial login," Chang said. "But DARPA wanted to know how we can assure the same person is using the computer as long as a session is still active. We had a hypothesis about how to do that, we implemented it and we proved it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Engineers use keyboard, mouse and mobile device 'fingerprints' to protect data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119100929.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2013, November 19). Engineers use keyboard, mouse and mobile device 'fingerprints' to protect data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119100929.htm
Iowa State University. "Engineers use keyboard, mouse and mobile device 'fingerprints' to protect data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119100929.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Nintendo released new "Super Smash Bros." Friday, and it's getting great reviews. Could this mean a comeback for the gaming company? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) — China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins