Risk
8/28/2013
01:35 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Slideshows
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Iris Scans: Security Technology In Action

Iris-based security scans are the stuff of sci-fi movies, but NIST research shows how the technology can now be used in the real world to reliably identify individuals.
Previous
1 of 6
Next


Sci-fi films routinely lead viewers to believe that scanning an individual's iris is a proven way to identify them, but in practice, the results haven't always been 100% dependable. One of the most significant challenges isn't the technology, but how slight changes in the structure of the iris can throw off calculations used in comparing images of the human eye.

The long-term stability of the iris' distinguishing characteristics, critical for biometric identification, had come under question when a recent study of several hundred subjects found that iris recognition becomes increasingly difficult over a period of three years, consistent with an aging effect.

The latest in an ongoing series of studies of iris recognition for biometric identification, however, refutes that. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found that the unique characteristics of the iris in the average person do not change for at least nine years. The results of the study, conducted by researchers in NIST's Information Access division, suggest that iris recognition of average individuals will remain viable for decades. They also imply that identity program managers may not need to recapture iris images as frequently, which factors into the total overall cost of maintaining iris recognition systems.

The new study by NIST researchers used two large operational data sets, including one of nearly 8,000 recurrent travelers across the Canadian-American border, involving millions of images. The travelers, like the woman pictured here in a photograph supplied by the Canadian Border Services Agency, use an iris identification system to confirm the individuals' identity. The system is part of a joint Canadian and American program to help people move quickly across the border. The study examined images that had been captured at least four years and up to nine years previously. NIST researchers found no evidence of a widespread aging effect.

NIST has been working with a variety of organizations to help improve the use of iris recognition systems. In that vein, it established the Iris Exchange program in 2008. The program has sought to establish standards for iris recognition, as well as the development and deployment of systems used to capture and identify iris images. Sponsors of the program include the FBI's Criminal Justice Information System Division and the Office of Biometric Identity Management in the Department of Homeland Security.

Previous
1 of 6
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 5:27:27 PM
re: Iris Scans: Security Technology In Action
The Canadian Border Services Agency and DHS deserve credit for putting iris recognition systems to the test in the field and sharing the data on how reliable the systems are.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3341
Published: 2014-08-19
The SNMP module in Cisco NX-OS 7.0(3)N1(1) and earlier on Nexus 5000 and 6000 devices provides different error messages for invalid requests depending on whether the VLAN ID exists, which allows remote attackers to enumerate VLANs via a series of requests, aka Bug ID CSCup85616.

CVE-2014-3464
Published: 2014-08-19
The EJB invocation handler implementation in Red Hat JBossWS, as used in JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 6.2.0 and 6.3.0, does not properly enforce the method level restrictions for outbound messages, which allows remote authenticated users to access otherwise restricted JAX-WS handlers ...

CVE-2014-3472
Published: 2014-08-19
The isCallerInRole function in SimpleSecurityManager in JBoss Application Server (AS) 7, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBEAP) 6.3.0, does not properly check caller roles, which allows remote authenticated users to bypass access restrictions via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-3490
Published: 2014-08-19
RESTEasy 2.3.1 before 2.3.8.SP2 and 3.x before 3.0.9, as used in Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 6.3.0, does not disable external entities when the resteasy.document.expand.entity.references parameter is set to false, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files and have...

CVE-2014-3504
Published: 2014-08-19
The (1) serf_ssl_cert_issuer, (2) serf_ssl_cert_subject, and (3) serf_ssl_cert_certificate functions in Serf 0.2.0 through 1.3.x before 1.3.7 does not properly handle a NUL byte in a domain name in the subject's Common Name (CN) field of an X.509 certificate, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Dark Reading continuing coverage of the Black Hat 2014 conference brings interviews and commentary to Dark Reading listeners.