An examination of keystroke dynamics for continuous user authentication

Alsolami, Eesa (2012) An examination of keystroke dynamics for continuous user authentication. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Most current computer systems authorise the user at the start of a session and do not detect whether the current user is still the initial authorised user, a substitute user, or an intruder pretending to be a valid user. Therefore, a system that continuously checks the identity of the user throughout the session is necessary without being intrusive to end-user and/or effectively doing this. Such a system is called a continuous authentication system (CAS).

Researchers have applied several approaches for CAS and most of these techniques are based on biometrics. These continuous biometric authentication systems (CBAS) are supplied by user traits and characteristics. One of the main types of biometric is keystroke dynamics which has been widely tried and accepted for providing continuous user authentication. Keystroke dynamics is appealing for many reasons. First, it is less obtrusive, since users will be typing on the computer keyboard anyway. Second, it does not require extra hardware. Finally, keystroke dynamics will be available after the authentication step at the start of the computer session. Currently, there is insufficient research in the CBAS with keystroke dynamics field. To date, most of the existing schemes ignore the continuous authentication scenarios which might affect their practicality in different real world applications.

Also, the contemporary CBAS with keystroke dynamics approaches use characters sequences as features that are representative of user typing behavior but their selected features criteria do not guarantee features with strong statistical significance which may cause less accurate statistical user-representation. Furthermore, their selected features do not inherently incorporate user typing behavior. Finally, the existing CBAS that are based on keystroke dynamics are typically dependent on pre-defined user-typing models for continuous authentication. This dependency restricts the systems to authenticate only known users whose typing samples are modelled. This research addresses the previous limitations associated with the existing CBAS schemes by developing a generic model to better identify and understand the characteristics and requirements of each type of CBAS and continuous authentication scenario. Also, the research proposes four statistical-based feature selection techniques that have highest statistical significance and encompasses different user typing behaviors which represent user typing patterns effectively. Finally, the research proposes the user-independent threshold approach that is able to authenticate a user accurately without needing any predefined user typing model a-priori.

Also, we enhance the technique to detect the impostor or intruder who may take over during the entire computer session.

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ID Code: 54730
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Boyd, Colin, Nayak, Richi, Ahmed, Irfan, & Mannington, Andrew
Keywords: continuous biometric authentication, continuous authentication system, user-independent, threshold, keystroke dynamics, user typing behavior, feature selection
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2012 02:16
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2015 00:15

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