VibHead: An Authentication Scheme for Smart Headsets through Vibration

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PubDate: June 2023

Teams: Shandong University;Qingdao University

Writers: Feng Li, Jiayi Zhao, Huan Yang, Dongxiao Yu, Yuanfeng Zhou, Yiran Shen

PDF: VibHead: An Authentication Scheme for Smart Headsets through Vibration


Recent years have witnessed the fast penetration of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems into our daily life, the security and privacy issues of the VR/AR applications have been attracting considerable attention. Most VR/AR systems adopt head-mounted devices (i.e., smart headsets) to interact with users and the devices usually store the users’ private data. Hence, authentication schemes are desired for the head-mounted devices. Traditional knowledge-based authentication schemes for general personal devices have been proved vulnerable to shoulder-surfing attacks, especially considering the headsets may block the sight of the users. Although the robustness of the knowledge-based authentication can be improved by designing complicated secret codes in virtual space, this approach induces a compromise of usability. Another choice is to leverage the users’ biometrics; however, it either relies on highly advanced equipments which may not always be available in commercial headsets or introduce heavy cognitive load to users.
In this paper, we propose a vibration-based authentication scheme, VibHead, for smart headsets. Since the propagation of vibration signals through human heads presents unique patterns for different individuals, VibHead employs a CNN-based model to classify registered legitimate users based the features extracted from the vibration signals. We also design a two-step authentication scheme where the above user classifiers are utilized to distinguish the legitimate user from illegitimate ones. We implement VibHead on a Microsoft HoloLens equipped with a linear motor and an IMU sensor which are commonly used in off-the-shelf personal smart devices. According to the results of our extensive experiments, with short vibration signals (≤1s), VibHead has an outstanding authentication accuracy; both FAR and FRR are around 5%.

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