biometrics

June 28, 2017

SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., has announced it has been awarded a four-year $12.5 million contract by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) National Intelligence Directorate’s Odin Program to research and develop “dynamic biometrics” able to better detect attempts to evade or deceive biometric security systems, such as fingerprint, iris and face scanners. The ability to detect these so-called presentation attacks, which attempt to deceive security systems, addresses a critical weakness in current generation biometric security systems and can significantly expand biometric use cases.

February 22, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has released a broad agency announcement (BAA) seeking proposals to develop, and experimentally test, systems that use crowdsourcing and structured analytic techniques to improve analytic reasoning. At the same time, the organization released three requests for information and announced a March 11 proposers’ day for the Odin program, which is developing methods for detecting attempts to disguise a person’s biometric identity.

September 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
A U.S. airman photographs the iris of an Afghan district police chief. The images are cataloged in a database containing biometric information used to identify locals.

The use of biometrics for force protection alone could be a bygone approach as the blossoming technology makes inroads toward the development of a new intelligence discipline. Biometrics intelligence ultimately could be the next INT in the menu of intelligence specialties.

The U.S. military’s interest in rapidly acquiring biometrics know-how to help today’s warfighter with tomorrow’s technology puts the private sector on the verge of a turning point.

September 10, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
©Axstokes/Shutterstock.com/NIST

The U.S. government wants in on the resurgence of developments in contactless biometric technology, seeing smart applications of such devices in places such as airport security. But before device deployment, officials need to make sure the scanners and sensors actually do what they say they do—safely and accurately.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with a handful of private companies to develop data format standards, best practices and methods for certification testing on new products before any can be used.

September 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The latest methods of identity verification might border on intrusive as behavioral biometrics continues to evolve. Tactics range from what some might consider simple measurements of keystroke dynamics to cutting-edge future solutions that could constantly monitor a user’s breathing or eye movements.

The ever-growing amount of sensitive data being generated, punctuated by recent breaches showing just how vulnerable that information is to attacks, spurred both federal agencies and the private sector to find ways to safeguard their networks better. But superior security also might mean better insight into users, leaving even more telling information vulnerable to theft or espionage.

September 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
The Science and Technology Directorate and Homeland Security Investigations, both within the Homeland Security Department, are working together to evaluate state-of-the-art biometric technologies and ultimately to integrate those technologies into existing investigation tools. Because child exploitation images and videos pose the greatest challenge, technologies that aid in those investigations likely will benefit a broader range of missions.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Non-Cooperative Biometrics Program will evaluate cutting-edge technologies, such as facial recognition and tattoo identification, and integrate them into current investigation tools. The program specifically focuses on technologies to aid in the fight against child exploitation, but because those are some of the most technologically challenging cases, the program has implications for other missions as well.

June 26, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
A French unmanned aerial vehicle hovers in front of a crowd during a demonstration at the Brunei Darussalam International Defense Exhibition in Bandar Seri Begawan in 2013. The exercise focuses on multilateral relationships and enhances preparedness for disasters and other operations.

Drones are leaving the battlefield in droves, increasingly taking on non-lethal civilian and humanitarian missions as aid groups and private companies capitalize on technology that not only is more common, but more affordable and manageable.

July 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
A color-enhanced typhimurium strain of salmonella (red) invades cultured human cells. The hundreds of microbes living on and in the human body have proven to be surprisingly unique.

A recent study indicates the communities of microbes found in and on the human body can be used to identify individuals, much like fingerprints and other biometric data. The discovery could lead to a new form of biometrics supporting the identification of criminals and enhancing personalized medicine.  

June 12, 2015

Blackbox Biometrics Inc., Rochester, New York, has been awarded a maximum $9,371,520 firm-fixed-price contract for concussive force monitoring devices. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification commercial Federal Acquisition Regulation part 12. Location of performance is New York, with a June 9, 2016, performance completion date. Using service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2016 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Columbus, Ohio (SPE7M9-15-C-0034).

May 13, 2015

The Department of Public Safety’s Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) program has awarded a contract to MorphoTrust USA to expand the current network of 93 enrollment facilities to include 55 new locations in more rural areas. The secure fingerprint-based background checks will be provided at IdentoGO Centers. The award makes Texas the first state to implement the company’s new commercial enrollment platform. Civilian applicants seeking licensure, employment and volunteer opportunities in Texas at agencies, including the Board of Nursing, the Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Education Agency, among others, can benefit from increased access.

March 18, 2015
By George I. Seffers
The eyes have it in the Asia Pacific region, the fastest growing market for biometrics technology.

Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), London, United Kingdom, a market intelligence and analysis firm, estimates the biometric market in the Asia-Pacific region is worth $1.1 billion this year and will reach $3.3 billion by 2025. The projected increase represents a compound annual growth rate of 11.3 percent.

September 18, 2014
By Rita Boland

The intelligence community is striving to determine how it can work with industry early, before requirements for capabilities are confirmed, to get out ahead of challenges. Leaders want to adopt technology in some of the first phases rather than at the end. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is looking to standardize capabilities across the intelligence community, determining how its many members can collaborate.

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to replace its Automated Biometric Identification System, or IDENT, in the next two to four years, an official with the department says. IDENT is DHS's central system for storing and processing biometric and associated biographic information for various homeland security purposes.

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

Cyber is the prime concern of the intelligence community, Sean Kanuck, national intelligence officer for cyber issues, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said today at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa. Not only is cyber an immense problem in itself, but it also pervades all other national security concerns, including biometrics.

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) announced three new pilot programs this morning worth approximately $3 million. An additional almost $7 million is allocated for continued efforts in subsequent years.

Confyrm was awarded the largest contract, valued at around $1.2 million. It will pilot a shared signals solution to mitigate the impact of account takeovers and fake accounts through early fraud detection and notification with special emphasis on consumer privacy.

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

The password won’t die, but it’s killing us.

That was the message this morning from Jeremy Grant, senior executive adviser, National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa. Estimates put the blame for 76 percent of network intrusions on weak passwords. Beyond security, they also affect commerce, as the majority of customers will leave websites rather than create accounts. Passwords are not beloved and are not doing us any favors, Grant explained.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

“I’ve always assumed they enjoyed telling my story from their point of view.”

Frank Abagnale, the famous teenage confidence man turned law-enforcement adviser and expert on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents, spoke those words today to a crowd at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa, explaining that he never met most of the people who have created entertainment products about his life. Nor has he earned any money, because of his agreement with the U.S. government. The benefit has been an unsought notoriety that now allows him to tell his story of redemption and to explain that no technology can take the place of people with good character.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system went live last week, replacing the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and improving accuracy. According to experts, the new system offers 99.6 percent correct identification versus 92 percent with the former. The NGI enables automation of 93 percent of searches. Other upgrades include connections with the National Palm Print System, an iris-modality repository and capabilities for more mobile detections.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

The new generation of college graduates “don’t know or seem to care that their data is being [distributed] and sold to others, because they’re getting free stuff.” Duane Blackburn, currently with MITRE and formerly the assistant director for homeland security at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, made this point at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa today to explain generational differences regarding information sharing and privacy.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

Biometric identification moved past fingerprints long ago, and the range of modalities is helping the keepers of law and order make a big difference in several ways. Last year, authorities apprehended a former European finance minister who had stolen thousands  of Euros by using voice recognition software to identify the perpetrator through a phone message. Another tool combines facial recognition with a breathalyzer so that in addition to capturing blood alcohol content, the device can send a photo of the person to a repository website.

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