King Saud University Earns a Patent on Digital Authentication for Cybersecurity

Patents and Inventions, CoE in Information Assurance
Tuesday 1435/12/19 on 2014/10/14

King Saud University (KSU) earns a USA patent entitled “Systems and Methods for Three-Factor Authentication” under US Patent Number 8,862,888. The inventors of this patent are Ahmed S. Tolba, Associate Professor Muhammad Khurram Khan, and Professor Khaled S. Alghathbar.

This research was led by Khan at the Center of Excellence in Information Assurance (CoEIA), King Saud University.

Digital Authentication is an important technique to support e-business applications, such as online banking, e-commerce, restrict access to secure websites, secure computer systems and/or secure military and critical infrastructure installations, etc. Traditional authentication techniques check a username and password supplied by a user attempting to access a site, carry on a transaction, or perform similar acts. Therefore, such authentication techniques cannot resist impersonation attacks, eavesdropping (such as may be perpetrated by spyware, including key-loggers and the like), social engineering, and so on.

“Use of multi-factor authentication techniques based on something you know (user ID and passwords), something you have (smartphone or smart card) and something you are (biometrics e.g. fingerprint, voice, face etc.) are secure ways of authenticating subjects/individuals and our invention uses these three factors for securing the information systems”, explained by Khan.

“With the increasing popularity of handheld devices such as smartphones, our approach can be leveraged by many organizations without urging the user to memorize different passwords or carrying several tokens/devices. The main components to use in this invention are a smartphone, a remote authentication server (e.g. bank or e-services), and a biometric service provider for voice/speaker recognition. The objective of our invention is to show that the user can easily authenticate him/herself to the service provider using his mobile phones and voice biometrics. Our scheme not only overcomes the problems of other traditional authentication schemes, but also provides interactive, secure, and strong information system by using threefactors of authentication”, elaborated on by Khan and co-inventors about the working pattern of their invention.

Further, Khan also highlighted that this invention has won a Gold Medal in ‘Malaysian Technology Expo’, a well-reputed inventions and innovation expo held every year in Kuala Lumpur, and got high recommendation by security researchers for digital authentication technology.

All three inventors pay their gratitude to King Saud University and point out that "We weren't able to do it without the help and support of KSU leadership, especially Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing Program (IPTL)”.

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