Magazine article National Defense

DARPA to Turn Humans into Passwords

Magazine article National Defense

DARPA to Turn Humans into Passwords

Article excerpt

Computer users perceive cyberspace to be so dangerous that they often lock themselves out of their own systems because they have created passwords too long and complex to remember. To jog their memory, users write passwords on sticky notes that can be found by anyone.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on a solution that would allow a computer to determine on its own if the person at the keyboard is an authorized user.

The Active Authentication program aims to unburden computer users from convoluted passwords by granting access to systems through the use of software biometrics.

The research changes "the current paradigm by removing the secret that a human holds, the password, and focuses on the secret that the human specifically is," an industry day solicitation states. "This program will focus on validating the individual at the keyboard by those unique factors that make up the individual."

DARPA wants computers to adapt to humans, not the other way around. The goal is to confirm identifying biometrics without interruption while someone goes about a normal routine. …

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