New Smartphone Authentication Method Reads Lips

A new method of user authentication that reads the patterns of a person's lips could be coming to mobile devices, according to a study published by researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Indiana University-Purdue University in January.

The study emphasizes the need for stronger tools to identify users logging on to a mobile device. It asserts that passwords are no longer a viable safety net because they can be hard to remember and are prone to hacks. It also decries methods like face recognition and voiceprint because they are susceptible to "replay attacks" and are often affected by "ambient environments."

According to the study, when a person speaks, their lips move in specific patterns that are unique to them. The researchers wanted to see if they could develop an authentication system using these lip patterns without the need to attach specialized hardware to mobile devices.

Thus, LipPass was born. The researchers say that, on average, it achieves 90.21 percent accuracy on identity authentication, and can detect fraud with 93.1 percent accuracy. While the study does not suggest that LipPass will be used for securing crypto wallets, this new method has the potential to add another layer of protection against crypto-hackers and malware.

Other researchers are working to improve the security of mobile devices through different authentication methods. In March of last year, the Mobile Authentication Taskforce, which includes representatives from telecommunications companies AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, announced it was working on a "next-generation mobile authentication platform" to combat SIM card swapping. 

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