Student Presents Biometric Password to NSA

Author: Kyle Martin
| November 7, 2017

Trying to keep track of a dozen passwords is an accepted part of today’s modern society.

But what if your password was literally unforgettable?

Florida Polytechnic University Sophomore Austin Lubetkin has a working prototype of a program that relies on eye movements while reading to secure your assets, not letters or characters. His research paper drew great interest when he presented it recently to the National Security Agency’s Symposium on Cryptologic History.

“This is one of the most prestigious conferences in the cryptology field, so a lot of rehearsing went into my presentation,” Austin says. “The feedback was amazing. A lot of people were interested in the technology.”

The project, called Eyeprint, relies on an individual’s unique reading speed and the eye movements trigged by the brain while reading, called saccades. These saccades cannot be replicated or hacked, leading Austin to pronounce this biometric password “unhackable.” The technology — which is patent pending — can be built into any device with a front-facing camera.

The process for training on Eyeprint is simple, unlike other subconscious passwords on the market. A user is first shown a word cloud for a passage that they pick a “trigger word” from. A user then reads through a passage and interacts with their device every time they read their trigger word. From that point forward, you can unlock your phone, use online banking, or access a subscription service by reading a passage.

Austin sees a lot of potential for this project, but particularly for an older population who wants to enjoy technology without the frustration of remembering passwords.

“It’s really bringing cyber security to a whole untapped market. There are a lot of people who really care about cyber security,” Austin says.

Austin, of Boca Raton, Fla., is starting his first semester at Florida Poly as a Computer Engineering/Machine Intelligence major.

“Everything I’ve seen so far is everything I want from a STEM school,” Austin says. “There are people around me I can really relate to.”