Risk
8/28/2013
01:35 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Slideshows
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
Oldest First  |  Newest 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
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-0732
Published: 2015-07-28
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Cisco AsyncOS on the Web Security Appliance (WSA) 9.0.0-193; Email Security Appliance (ESA) 8.5.6-113, 9.1.0-032, 9.1.1-000, and 9.6.0-000; and Content Security Management Appliance (SMA) 9.1.0-033 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or ...

CVE-2015-2974
Published: 2015-07-28
LEMON-S PHP Gazou BBS plus before 2.36 allows remote attackers to upload arbitrary HTML documents via vectors involving a crafted image file.

CVE-2015-4287
Published: 2015-07-28
Cisco Firepower Extensible Operating System 1.1(1.86) on Firepower 9000 devices allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions and obtain sensitive device information by visiting an unspecified web page, aka Bug ID CSCuu82230.

CVE-2015-4288
Published: 2015-07-28
The LDAP implementation on the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA) 8.5.0-000, Email Security Appliance (ESA) 8.5.7-042, and Content Security Management Appliance (SMA) 8.3.6-048 does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain s...

CVE-2015-4692
Published: 2015-07-27
The kvm_apic_has_events function in arch/x86/kvm/lapic.h in the Linux kernel through 4.1.3 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and system crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact by leveraging /dev/kvm access for an ioctl call.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!