Security Brain activity may one day replace modern biometrics / passwords

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

brain waves replace passwords brain passwords

The world’s brightest minds have been trying for years to come up with a solution to replace the modern password. Researchers at Binghamton University recently developed a plausible solution that utilizes brain activity to authenticate users.

In a recently published study called “Brainprint,” researchers studied the brain activity of 45 volunteers as they read through a list of 75 common acronyms such as DVD and FBI. As it turns out, each person’s brain reacts differently enough that a computer was able to differentiate volunteers with 94 percent accuracy.

Assistant professor and study co-author Sarah Laszlo notes that if someone’s fingerprint is stolen, that person can’t just grow a new finger to replace the compromised digit. Brainprints, however, are potentially cancellable. In the unlikely event that an attacker was able to steal a brainprint from an authorized user, Laszlo points out, the user could simply “reset” their brainprint.

As you can imagine, such an elaborate system wouldn’t be practical to mass produce for low security applications (at least not anytime soon). Instead, this type of biometric security would initially be reserved for high-security physical locations such as Air Force labs or the Pentagon, assistant professor Zhanpeng Jin added.

The passwords we use to protect our online lives are flawed in a number of ways. Weak passwords are part of the problem but even the most secure of passwords can easily be stolen as the string of data breaches over the past several years has highlighted. In the event you do select a strong password, it’s often difficult to remember – especially if you use a different password for each account as experts recommend.

Permalink to story.


Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
In as much as an EEG, EKG, and similar tests can be recorded, it will be interesting to hear how your "brain activity" can be kept locked down so it cannot be duplicated and reused. Of course, for those that still use "password" or "12345678" as their particular password, it certainly will be more secure but as previously mentioned, there will most certainly be certain black out days like .... New Years Eve, St. Patrick's day, and for one friend of mine, just about every day! Hmmm ... come to think of it, he's going to have THE most secure account out there ..... NSA, are you paying attention to that???


Egghead invents brain pattern security system --> nefarious egghead invents ranged EKG device to document patterns and render system vulnerable --> egghead develops jammer for EKG device --> nefarious egghead creates virus that hijacks jammer and transmits brain patterns --> egghead recommends using traditional security measures in addition to brain system --> Air Force general tires of all the security bullshit and posts armed guards near the secret door --> egghead gets fired to save costs --> nefarious egghead is terminated by Chinese gov't for no longer being useful --> new eggheads (some on visas) graduate from MIT...

The circle of life, ladies and gentlemen.


TS Ambassador
I'm not positive, but doesn't drinking/drugs change your brain activity?
Of course it does
So if you are drunk/stoned when setting your password, you may need to be drunk/stoned to gain access. And forget about getting in on sick days. lol
LOL - LOL, falling on the ground. Forget encryption, just get stoned and THEN writ da dmn ltr