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Dartmouth's New Zebra Bracelet Strengthens Computer Security

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A wrist-worn biometric device.

Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed wearable computer security technology that authenticates users while they are using a device, then logs them out automatically if they leave or a new user approaches the device.

Credit: BIometrics Research Group Inc.

Dartmouth College researchers have developed Zero-Effort Bilateral Recurring Authentication (ZEBRA), computer security technology that authenticates users while they are using a device and automatically logs them out when they leave or when a new user comes forward.

The ZEBRA system includes a bracelet with a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and radio, which the user wears on their wrist. When the user interacts with the computer, the bracelet records the wrist movement and compares it with the inputs it receives from the user via the keyboard and mouse to confirm the continued presence of one common user.

During testing, the researchers say ZEBRA performed continuous authentication with 85-percent accuracy in verifying the correct user and identified all adversaries within 11 seconds.

"In this work, we focused on the deauthentication problem for desktop computers because we were motivated by associated problems faced by healthcare professionals in hospitals," says Dartmouth professor David Kotz. "It would be natural to extend ZEBRA to mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablet computers, and we believe this is possible despite some different challenges."

From Dartmouth College
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