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Strengthen user authentication on mobile devices by using user’s touch dynamics pattern

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Syh Yuan TanORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Mobile devices, particularly the touch screen mobile devices, are increasingly used to store and access private and sensitive data or services, and this has led to an increased demand for more secure and usable security services, one of which is user authentication. Currently, mobile device authentication services mainly use a knowledge-based method, e.g. a PIN-based authentication method, and, in some cases, a fingerprint-based authentication method is also supported. The knowledge-based method is vulnerable to impersonation attacks, while the fingerprint-based method can be unreliable sometimes. To overcome these limitations and to make the authentication service more secure and reliable for touch screen mobile device users, we have investigated the use of touch dynamics biometrics as a mobile device authentication solution by designing, implementing and evaluating a touch dynamics authentication method. This paper describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of this method, the acquisition of raw touch dynamics data, the use of the raw data to obtain touch dynam-ics features, and the training of the features to build an authentication model for user identity verification. The evaluation results show that by integrating the touch dynamics authentication method into the PIN-based authentication method, the protection levels against impersonation attacks is greatly enhanced. For example, if a PIN is compromised, the success rate of an impersonation attempt is drastically reduced from 100% (if only a 4-digit PIN is used) to 9.9% (if both the PIN and the touch dynamics are used).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Teh PS, Zhang N, Tan S, Shi Q, Khoh WH, Nawaz R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing

Year: 2020

Volume: 11

Pages: 4019-4039

Online publication date: 24/12/2019

Acceptance date: 12/12/2019

Date deposited: 28/07/2020

ISSN (print): 1868-5137

ISSN (electronic): 1868-5145

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s12652-019-01654-y


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