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Authentication Using Pulse-Response Biometrics


Authentication Using Pulse-Response Biometrics, illustration

We propose a new biometric based on the human body's response to an electric square pulse signal, called pulse-response. We explore how this biometric can be used to enhance security in the context of two example applications: (1) an additional authentication mechanism in PIN entry systems, and (2) a means of continuous authentication on a secure terminal. The pulse-response biometric is effective because each human body exhibits a unique response to a signal pulse applied at the palm of one hand, and measured at the palm of the other. Using a prototype setup, we show that users can be correctly identified, with high probability, in a matter of seconds. This identification mechanism integrates well with other established methods and offers a reliable additional layer of security, either on a continuous basis or at login time. We build a proof-of-concept prototype and perform experiments to assess the feasibility of pulse-response as a practical biometric. The results are very encouraging, achieving accuracies of 100% over a static data set, and 88% over a data set with samples taken over several weeks.

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1. Introduction

Many modern access control systems augment the traditional two-factor authentication procedure (something you know and something you have) with a third factor: "something you are," that is, some form of biometric authentication. This additional layer of security comes in many flavors: from fingerprint readers on laptops used to facilitate easy login with a single finger swipe, to iris scanners used as auxiliary authentication for accessing secure facilities. In the latter case, the authorized user typically presents a smart card, then types in a PIN, and finally performs an iris (or fingerprint) scan.

In this paper, we propose a new biometric based on the human body's response to a square pulse signal. We consider two motivating scenarios:


 

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