US military explores biometric replacement for passwords The US military is investing millions of dollars in a biometric identification system which could replace the traditional password for web users. As reported by Sky News, the US military has signed a multimillion-dollar deal for researchers at West Point, the home of the agency’s military academy. The team is working on what are called “cognitive fingerprints,” which do not use physical characteristics to identify someone, but behavioral traits. West Point hopes to develop cognitive fingerprint algorithms which learn and recognize patterns of behavior based on how someone uses a mobile device. Whether this relates to how someone swipes their smartphone screen or moves a cursor, patterns are identified and applied to a user in order to verify who they are. If developed successfully, this type of identity technology would go far beyond the traditional password or more modern two-step verification. The military hopes the system can be developed and applied to encrypted data communications across the agency’s networks as part of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s active authentication programme. More