A security contractor working for defence outfit Raytheon has solved a problem relating to computer authentication after reading about an effort to use pressure sensitive gun grips to authenticate a gun owner.
According to Computer World Glenn Kaufman wondered if something similar might work for a computer mouse and after four years has been awarded a patent for a biometric pressure grip that describes how a mouse can be used to authenticate someone.
One of the difficulties in high security defences is that serious attackers can by-pass them without anyone being aware of it. Smartcards can be stolen, fingerprints lifted off surfaces, passwords cracked and photographic substitutes used to defeat facial recognition and retina scans.
But a pressure sensitive mouse “is a lot harder to defeat” because it works from a neurological pattern versus a physical pattern, such as a facial scan. The way people hold a mouse, along with the amount of pressure they apply, is unique.
Kaufman built a mouse with pressure sensors and tested it on 10 people. He extrapolated the results to indicate a failure rate of one in 10,000, which is similar to what the pressure gun grip researchers had discovered.
It means that if someone wants to hack into your computer they need to have you sitting next to them with your hand on your mouse. They cannot cut your hand off because a dead hand will not hold the mouse in the same way.