Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Secure Continuous Biometric-Enhanced Authentication

Andrew J. Klosterman, Gregory R. Ganger

May 2000

Keywords: Computer security, authentication, biometric, eigenface

Biometrics have the potential to solidify person-authentication by examining "unforgeable" features of individuals. This paper explores issues involved with effective integration of biometric-enhanced authentication into computer systems and design options for addressing them. Because biometrics are not secrets, systems must not use them like passwords; otherwise, biometric-based authentication will reduce security rather than increase it. A novel biometric-enhanced authentication system, based on a trusted camera that continuously uses face recognition to verify identity, is described and evaluated in the context of Linux. With cryptographically-signed messages and continuous authentication, the difficulty of bypassing desktop authentication can be significantly increased.

26 pages

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