Fujitsu develops tech that turns biometric data into a cryptographic key

fujitsu developing tech that turns biometric data into a cryptographic key palm
Ben Hosking/Flickr
Fujitsu Laboratories is developing a new technology that converts biometric data into a cryptographic key to ensure that personal data is protected when traveling across a network.

The technology uses different randomized numbers that convert the biometric information, in this case the veins in the palm of the hand, into a cryptographic key for encrypting and decrypting personal data on each side of the communication.

At the end of the data transfer, a user’s randomized code representing their biometrics is compared with the number generated at the start as a means to verify the person. This would remove the need for managing encryption keys for accessing your encrypted data, according to the researchers.

Fujitsu adds that it used error-correcting codes to compensate for any minor errors, such as slight movements of the hand, during data transmission. It claims that this will be a more robust way of protecting personal information as there is a reduced chance of the biometric data being intercepted on a network and it could expand the use of biometrics to cloud services in a more secure way.

That last point is important. Currently, biometric data is generally used only for accessing local devices because the data might be intercepted in transit over a network. Fujitsu’s technology could bring this from of login to cloud storage, social networks, and other online services.

The company says it is currently working on improving the time it takes to decrypt the data and is aiming to commercialize the system by 2017 as well as exploring potential use cases such as Japan’s recently updated tax and social security number system.

Fujitsu has been working alongside Kyushu University and Saitama University in Japan to develop the technology and presented their findings at a security conference in France this week.

It’s not too surprising that Fujitsu is focusing on the security of biometrics. The Japanese company has been investing heavily in biometrics research and its use in payments and authentication, including a recent pilot with payments provider JCB.


Personal info of 30,000-plus Pentagon employees compromised in contractor breach

The Pentagon is facing another security problem after it was discovered that a contractor was responsible for a leak of data that affected more than 30,000 Pentagon employees, both civilian and military.

How to protect your iCloud account

From Chinese hacking to identity theft, it's not surprising if you're a little worried about your iCloud data. Here's how to protect your iCloud account with a few simple security steps. It will only take a few minutes, and we'll walk you…

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Emerging Tech

No longer a gaming novelty, VR gets acceptance letter from Arizona State

Students at Arizona State University are getting an unexpected added extra for their tuition money this semester: A virtual reality headset for their course. Here's how it's going to be used.

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.

Lenovo and Dell make great professional laptops, but who does it best?

Finding the best laptop for professional use at the office, on the move, and at home is no easy task. There's plenty to choose but to find the best of the best, we pitted the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. Dell XPS 15.

Did your Windows 10 audio stop working after the update? Microsoft has a fix

Microsoft has released a small patch for its October 2018 Update build of Windows 10 following some users facing audio issues that resulted in no sound output at all. After this fix, that problem should disappear for good.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Emerging Tech

What the heck is machine learning, and why is it everywhere these days?

Machine learning has been responsible for some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence over the past decade. But what exactly is it? Check out our handy beginner's guide.

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.

World’s first 49-inch, dual QHD curved monitor tops Dell’s new line of displays

Dell's world's first 49-inch dual QHD curved monitor and other new displays come packed with innovative design features and technologies aimed at meeting demands of workflows everywhere.

Updated Intel processor benchmarks still beat AMD Ryzen competitor, but by less

After some controversy, updated Principled Technologies testing shows the Intel i9-9900K with a reduced lead over the AMD Ryzen 2700X in benchmarks, and with the AMD Ryzen 2700 X seeing better performance. 
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.

Memory is still expensive, but Intel’s 9th-gen CPU lets you have 128GB of it

Intel's 9-series CPUs have a few exciting things going for them but for some, new support for double height memory modules with a maximum system capacity of 128GB could be one of them.