The NSA has technology that can identify anyone from the way they swipe and text on a smartphone, according to officials with Lockheed Martin who helped design it.
The revelations were made in an interview with Lockheed IT and Security Solutions’s senior fellow John Mears, who told Nextgov that the technology, known as ‘Mandrake’, remotely analyses the curve, speed and acceleration of a person’s finger strokes on a device.
“Nobody else has the same strokes. People can forge your handwriting in two dimensions, but they couldn’t forge it in three or four dimensions,” Mears said.
“Three is the pressure you put in, in addition to the two dimensions on the paper. The fourth dimension is time. The most advanced handwriting-type authentication tracks you in four dimensions.”
Mears note that the NSA is able to actively deploy the technology right now, and could already be using it as part of its bulk data collection program.
“We’ve done work with the NSA with that for secure gesture authentication as a technique for using smartphones. They are actually able to use it,” said Mears.
The technology works via motion-recognition, a breakthrough originally achieved by the US Air Force in 1978 as part of a Pentagon program to capture the behavioural biometrics of a handwritten signature.
Several reports insinuate that the NSA may be interested in using the technology for ‘security systems of the future’, or as an improvement on fingerprint identification. However, given that it is already known, via Snowden leaks, that NSA has made extensive use of QWERTY keystroke technology, to monitor everything a user does on the internet, it is impossible not to suspect this is also their goal as far as smartphones are concerned.
Perhaps another purpose may be to counter so called NSA-proof smartphones which use encryption tools to mask the identities and whereabouts of users. Ironically, Pentagon personnel are said to already be using such devices.
The latest revelation comes on the heels of news this week that the NSA planned to infect the app stores of smartphones with spyware in order to hack into phones and collect data from them without their users noticing.
It has been known for two years that the NSA has already managed to insert code into potentially three quarters of all smartphones.
Whatever the purpose of the technology may be, It appears that the NSA clearly is not preparing to end its mass spying program any time soon, despite declarations by government and the media that the agency is to be reigned in.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.