The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) selected biometric developer, Crossmatch, to lead its new Thor program fighting biometric spoofing. Following a competitive bid process, the $5.8 million contract was awarded to develop next-generation biometric presentation attack detection (PAD) technologies.
The goal of Thor is to develop technologies that can “detect when someone is attempting to disguise their biometric identity to circumvent biometric security systems.” According to the bid documentation, “proposed approaches must be capable of detecting known and unknown presentation attacks.” Modalities covered by the program include face, finger, and iris.
IARPA, a research entity within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, established the Odin program to defend against spoofing. Thor is one of two components of Odin. It develops biometric presentation attack detection technology, while its sister unit, Loki, deploys the Thor technology.
Although there are products that offer limited biometric presentation attack technologies, they fall short when it comes to raising the entry barrier to known and unknown attacks. Thor will attempt to address this shortfall by developing systems capable of:
- capturing more robust information from biometric samples that identify and measure the likelihood of biometric presentation attacks, and
- identifying unknown attacks based on factors like normalcy modeling for anomaly detection.
Current sensor hardware captures limited information pertinent to presentation attacks with no intelligence to identify zero-day unknown attacks. A need exists to capture more robust information from a biometric sample to identify, or measure likelihood. There needs to be an ‘intelligent’ approach that can identify unknown presentation attacks based on knowledge of what a true sample should look like (e.g., normalcy modeling for anomaly detection).”
Research and development will be ongoing through early 2021.