IARPA launches Odin program to harden biometric technology against attacks

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, announced on October 19 a multi-year research effort to develop and evaluate biometric presentation attack detection technologies to ensure the integrity of biometric security systems. If successful, the Odin program will provide solutions to the Intelligence Community and its partners to remediate critical vulnerabilities in today’s biometric recognition systems.

Biometric presentation attacks, commonly referred to as spoofs, aimed at disguising a person’s true identity, can prevent correct identification of persons of interest. The Odin program seeks to advance the state-of-the-art in presentation attack detection technology to detect known and unknown presentation attacks when presented to a biometric collection system and will focus on safeguarding the three major biometric modalities: face, finger, and iris. Solutions will also be evaluated to ensure they continue to provide biometric recognition capabilities at least as well as existing technology.

Within Odin, a component named Thor will develop new algorithms, sensors, and technologies to identify presentation attacks.  John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and National Institute of Standards and Technology will work together to independently test the new systems—drawing on thousands of volunteers to try them out and learn how well they work.

Through a competitive Broad Agency Announcement, IARPA has awarded Odin’s Thor research contracts to teams led by Cross Match Technologies, Michigan State University, SRI International, and University of Southern California.

Source: ODNI