AimBrain, the Biometric Identity as-a-Service platform, has raised the bar in user authentication by introducing optional audio and lip synchronisation into its facial authentication module to create AimFace//LipSync. Designed to prove liveliness and counter even the most sophisticated spoofing technologies, AimFace//LipSync provides AimBrain customers with stronger user authentication by combining facial recognition with a spoken challenge and lip movement analysis.

Traditionally, defences against facial biometric fraud – that the user is genuine and not a photo, video or computer-generated simulation – have been to train algorithms to process images at low levels, searching for fraud signals such as chromatic anomalies, textural differences, Moiré patterns or screen exposures.

This low-level processing has, however, made the algorithms sensitive to subtle changes in camera, projection means and external environments, resulting in high accuracy but only within the limited parameters in which they were trained.

AimBrain is first to market with this unique combination of visual and audio syncing

Two-factor human identification system

We decided to take a different approach to the problem,” said Efstathios Vafeias, Lead Scientist at AimBrain, who led the project. “We have developed an algorithm that uses both visual and audio data to detect a real person, not a presentation attack. By asking a user to say a randomised number to the camera, our technology now not only authenticates their face against a template but verifies that the numbers match the prompt and analyses the synchronisation between the voice and lip movement. So, as well as providing a step-change in security, this method maintains accuracy while being less susceptible to hardware or environmental changes.

AimBrain is first to market with this unique combination of visual and audio syncing, which can be used across any industry in place of any process that uses passwords or two factor authentication. An enterprise’s user or customer authenticate themselves by saying a randomised number to camera when prompted, whereupon the algorithm behind AimBrain’s new feature (AimFace//LipSync) assesses three components:

  1. Facial recognition: Does the face match the template?
  2. Liveliness detection: Do the lips move in response to the voice challenge?
  3. Anti-spoofing technology: Is the sound synchronised to the lip movement?

We are in the late stages of developing an integrated solution that combines facial authentication and voice authentication"

Combining face and voice authentication

Many of today’s anti-spoofing technologies can be fooled using the simplest of measures,” said Andrius Sutas, CEO and co-founder at AimBrain. “We have all seen the high-profile hacks that have beaten new smartphone biometric security systems within days of their release. Our lip sync technology means that to beat it, an attacker must be human, look exactly like the user and correctly say a random number, while we analyse the lip movements, within a limited timeframe. The level of sophistication required for an attack goes far beyond ordinary capabilities.

Alesis Novik, CTO and co-founder at AimBrain, believes that the fight against fraud is one that will never end, and his product roadmap does not stop with lip syncing. “We are in the late stages of developing an integrated solution that combines facial authentication and voice authentication, and assigns an automatic weighting of the two, depending on the environment and context. If a user is in a noisy environment, the weighting will be on the visual side. In a dark environment, for example, the audio authentication plays a stronger part. We are nearly there and expect to launch later this year.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
Managing security during unprecedented times of home working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behaviour, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organisations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behaviour of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education programme. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices of employees.

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?