Texas Tech University

EEG Identification Can Steal Your Most Closely Held Secrets

IEEE Spectrum

September 9, 2016

IEEE Spectrum - Fingerprints can be stolen, iris scans spoofed, and facial recognition software fooled. It has become increasingly challenging to unassailably authenticate a person’s identity, so academic teams have turned to brain waves as the next step in biometric identification.

"If you have these apps, you don't know what the app is reading from your brain or what [the app's creators are] going to use that information for, but you do know they're going to have a lot of information," says Abdul Serwadda, a cyber security researcher at Texas Tech University.

Serwadda and graduate student Richard Matovu recently played devil's advocate to see if they could glean sensitive personal information from brain data captured by two popular EEG-based authentication systems. Surprise, surprise: they did. Serwadda presented the results earlier this week at the 8th IEEE International Conference on Biometrics in Buffalo, New York.

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