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Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

gruntled To actually respond to your question... (127 comments)

Iris recognition is the easiest and most reliable; the reason it's less popular is it was wildly overpriced until the patents on the technology expired a few years ago, but since then a number of players have entered the market and you can actually play with free software that will perform iris recognition via a Webcam, which might be all you need. Retinal scanning feels extremely invasive to users; you generally need people to put their forehead up against a rest and hold still and users typically won't accept it outside of an extremely sensitive environment. In contrast iris scans can be performed from several feet away, very quickly, and generally work through glasses and contacts. Iris recognition typically also works well with people who have a number of different diseases (like diabetes, which can dramatically affect retinal patterns over a very short timeframe) or conditions that affect the eye, unlike retinal scanning, including most of the common conditions that cause blindness (except cataracts). Fingerprint recognition has gotten a bad rap because in general use people don't want to have any false negatives, so operators tune the environment to be less sensitive, leading to lots of false positives (my fingerprints get read as your fingerprints). But it's true that prints can be affected by things like dehydration and the local environment; they can also be simulated if you're sufficiently motivated, but that's made infinitely more difficult if you combine your biometric with a PIN (though it can't be argued that prints are left lying around everywhere, so it's probably not the best biometric you could choose). In addition a surprisingly large number of people -- like maybe two percent -- simply do not have usable fingerprints; it's actually a diagnostic criteria for some medical conditions. (I have actually had a couple of jobs that dealt directly with use of biometrics as a form of authentication).

In general I think the other comments are on the money: Keypad and PIN sounds like the way to go. If you're trying to create something automated, then contactless cards / dongles are the other solution but as others have noted, this isn't bulletproof since without some other factor (something you know or something you are) it's possible for one person to use somebody else's device.

about three weeks ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Yeah, but Tulsa (118 comments)

Each college offers its own coursework; there are hundreds of colleges certified as NSA centers of excellence; some of them are indeed excellent, and some of them are...not. The last time I checked out the Tulsa program, it emphasized teaching programming principles in java. Some programs have no coding requirements at all; they train you to be a policy specialist. Many, if not most, programs are very hard core in terms of technical requirements.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Wake me up when a BA becomes affordable (118 comments)

To reiterate: The Cyber Corps program can and is being used by undergraduates; it will take care of two years of your 4 year degree; if you've got the ability to get your undergrad degree in three years, you'd only have to pay for one year if you were in the Cyber Corps. And if you were to go into college with no debt and no significant obligations -- like a car payment -- you could probably make enough from your stipend and summer jobs to take care of that one year.

I am very sympathetic to your position; I was extremely poor as an undergrad, but I got great scholarships; federal grants took up most of the slack, with jobs and very small loans finishing up. But that was almost 40 years ago; it would be impossible to do that now. that's why programs like this are so important. I urge you to explore it if you're at all interested in infosec as a career.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Open Enrollment / Full Courses Available? (118 comments)

Excellent argument. The government-employed medical doctors doing cutting edge research developing treatments no private sector company will touch because there's not enough profit in it: Clearly corrupt. Those firefighters who parachute in to disaster areas with nothing but a shovel and desire to save whoever they can: Obviously corrupt. People battling for meaningful financial reform against incredibly powerful opponents: Corruption incarnate. The only moral choice is to do nothing; anybody who says they're in government to try and do the right thing is obviously lying.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Yeah, but Tulsa (118 comments)

Yes, I was quite hesitant but most of the people in my program were older; this was a second career for many of us.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:I'm one of those, but to be the best (118 comments)

To recap: You do *not* have to work for the NSA (that article was awful). You do have to work for the government, but you only have to do that for two years (the amount of time you're in school under the program). A masters degree from Carnegie Mellon would cost you something like six figures. And after that all you have is a degree with no experience. Cyber Corps offers you a *free* degree *plus* a monthly stipend, *plus* a virtually guaranteed job, meaning in four years you have no debt, a solid degree and a real resume. I can't say enough good things about the program.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:I went through this program!! (118 comments)

No, I am not a coder on any significant level. You should definitely check out a few schools. Tulsa is not much of a coding program, but they do teach you principles in java; Purdue has an interdisciplinary program that is heavy on programming theory but you can get out with little to no programming; Syracuse has a pure policy program where I think no coding is required at all.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Go Tulsa...? (118 comments)

You mean we're not?

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Good program (118 comments)

Actually, a number of the members of my team are non-white, gay, or both, including some senior folks. We do however tend to avoid hiring the ignorant.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Also, you don't have a clue about what the folk (118 comments)

Your description is more accurate than mine; saying that the FBI engages in "spying" is probably a bit off. they do engage in covert surveillance and counter espionage within the United States.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Poorly researched (118 comments)

Systems housing government data are required to meet certain minimum protective requirements, every system also needs to be certified as initially complying with those requirements by an independent third party (i.e., not the system owner), with a re-examination every three years. It's called "Certification and Accreditation." if you want to understand more about the requirements, look for a document called NIST 800-53. It's basically a penetration test.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Also, you don't have a clue about what the folk (118 comments)

In the United States, it's not that domestic spying is not allowed, it's that it's prohibited within specific agencies. The FBI does a lot of internal spying.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Yeah, but Tulsa (118 comments)

The key word there would be "automatic."

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Also, you don't have a clue about what the folk (118 comments)

I would agree that active duty enlisted tend to be "redder" than average. Also, the time frame you're describing is quite interesting as sounds like it was just about the time that the NSA had been publicly identified as breaking the law and new restrictions were put into place (which is probably what the Chief was bellyaching about). But my experience post reform is that the vast majority of people at the NSA take the prohibition on domestic spying very seriously.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Go Tulsa...? (118 comments)

The Tulsa program recruits students from all over the United States. Each of the colleges certified by the NSA as a Center of Excellence has different strong points; some are very focused on coding, for example, other on forensics or policy. My experience with the program is that is a reasonable mix of liberals and conservatives.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:two-year program so other IT work should not ne (118 comments)

The program offers four semesters of financial help; it was obviously aimed at the Masters level, but it can be applied to both undergraduate and even a PhD.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:Yeah, but Tulsa (118 comments)

Using drugs is not an automatic disqualification. Committing a crime is not an automatic disqualification. Lying about it is an automatic disqualification.

about 2 years ago
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Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For the Digital Age, In Oklahoma

gruntled Re:but do you want to work over seas for the CIA?? (118 comments)

This article is very poorly researched. There are Cyber Corps graduates in every federal agency. You don't have to work for the CIA / NSA if you don't want to (but you do have to apply for jobs at other agencies; the NSA actively recruits Cyber Corps graduates so if that's the only job offer you get, you have to take it or pay the money back.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Minnesota woman gets retrial in $222K P2P case

gruntled gruntled writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gruntled (107194) writes "The Judge in a 2007 decision has ruled that he erred by telling a jury that it could find Jamie Thomas guilty of violating intellectual property law simply because she made two dozen songs available for copying on the Internet via her P2P application. In granting a new trial and thus throwing out the $222,000.00 penalty levied last year, U.S. District Judge Michael K. Davis ruled that the record companies must prove that somebody actually made a copy of the songs Thomas had made available through Kazaa, not just that somebody could have made a copy of the songs. Thomas was the first person to challenge the RIAA to take her to court after she refused to pay a fee to the organization; most of those accused by the RIAA are happy to pay a $20K or so fee to avoid legal costs and the possiblity of enormous fines. Her conviction last year shifted the playing field dramatically in favor of the recording industry, but the decision by Davis now puts that victory in doubt."

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