Domingo, 7 de Setembro de 2008

Big Brother Sec XXI

Spy Software Could ID You By Your Shadow

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/spy-software-th.html

New software could recognize you by your signature gait by analyzing the movements of your shadow from aerial videos.


The technique, developed by Engineer Adrian Stoica at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and reported by New Scientist, solves one of the long standing problems of aerial reconnaissance and spy satellites— how do you recognize a person when you can only see the top of their head and shoulders?

Kevin Spacey's performance in The Usual Suspects nothwithstanding, it is hard to disguise your gait, which is why the technique is so powerful. In fact, using a person's gait for positive biometric identification is being studied in a number of places.

In a speech last month to a security conference in the UK, Stoica explained that by using shadows you can read the length and rhythm of someone's gait and do an identification, even from above. He has written software that isolates the shadow from video, and adjusts for time of day and camera angle to deal with elongated and foreshortened shadows. Stoica shot video from the top of a six story building to test out his software and was able to get usable gait data on his subjects.

Now going from six stories to satellites in low Earth orbit is probably a stretch. The best commercial low Earth orbit satellite (GeoEye- launching this Sunday to power better Google Maps) will have 41 cm resolution. The best known military spy sat can see at least down to 10 cm (though who knows what classified hardware can do). GeoEye is also only taking stills as it flies over, not the kinds of video footage that Stoica was using. To do that, you might need to go up to geostationary orbit which is much farther out and according to one expert, just wouldn't have the resolution. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying overhead, on the other hand, might work just fine for this.

Either way, you may want to practice skipping from place to place when it is sunny out.


publicado por caodeguarda às 00:06
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