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-2015-2849
Published: 2015-07-07
SQL injection vulnerability in main.ant in the ANTlabs InnGate firmware on IG 3100, InnGate 3.01 E, InnGate 3.10 E, InnGate 3.10 M, SG 4, and SSG 4 devices, when https is used, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the ppli parameter.

CVE-2015-2850
Published: 2015-07-07
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in index-login.ant in the ANTlabs InnGate firmware on IG 3100, InnGate 3.01 E, InnGate 3.10 E, InnGate 3.10 M, SG 4, and SSG 4 devices allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the msg parameter.

CVE-2015-3216
Published: 2015-07-07
Race condition in a certain Red Hat patch to the PRNG lock implementation in the ssleay_rand_bytes function in OpenSSL, as distributed in openssl-1.0.1e-25.el7 in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 and other products, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) by establi...

CVE-2014-3653
Published: 2015-07-06
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the template preview function in Foreman before 1.6.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted provisioning template.

CVE-2014-5406
Published: 2015-07-06
The Hospira LifeCare PCA Infusion System before 7.0 does not validate network traffic associated with sending a (1) drug library, (2) software update, or (3) configuration change, which allows remote attackers to modify settings or medication data via packets on the (a) TELNET, (b) HTTP, (c) HTTPS, ...

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marc Spitler, co-author of the Verizon DBIR will share some of the lesser-known but most intriguing tidbits from the massive report