Skip to main content

Authentication Using Pulse−Response Biometrics

Kasper Bonne Rasmussen‚ Marc Roeschlin‚ Ivan Martinovic and Gene Tsudik


We propose a new biometric based on the human body's response to an electric square pulse signal, that we call pulse-response. We explore how this biometric can be used to enhance security in the context of two example applications: (1) as an additional authentication mechanism in PIN entry systems, and (2) as a continuous authentication mechanism on a secure terminal. The pulse-response biometric is effective because each human body exhibits a unique response to a signal pulse applied at the palm of one hand, and measured at the palm of the other. Using a prototype setup, we show that users can be correctly identified, with high probability, in a matter of seconds. This identification mechanism integrates very well with other well-established methods and offers a reliable additional layer of additional security, either on a continuous basis or at login time. We build a proof-of-concept prototype and perform experiments to validate the feasability of using pulse-response as a biometric. Our results are very encuraging: we achieve accuracies of 100% over a static data set and 88% over a data set with samples taken over several weeks.

Book Title
The Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS)