Biological-Inspired Security
April 8, 2014

Biological-Inspired Security

Have you ever been hacked? I have, more than once, and it is annoying. My email has been hacked on two different occasions, which is a problem considering I use email for work as well as just keeping in touch with family. That resulted in going through the whole ordeal of confirming my identity, selecting new passwords, and even going so far as to set up new accounts on one occasion. I have also had my account hacked, costing me all of my hard-earned loot and gold for Diablo III, which was really more of an irritant than anything else. That also resulted in confirming my identity, creating new passwords, getting an authenticator, waiting to hear back from Blizzard that the changes to the account were confirmed, and more. All in all, one giant headache, and I got off easy. Suppose it was not just my email or an online video game that got hacked, but my banking information. It is scary to think what someone can do if they discover your personal information. Fortunately, there may be an answer to the problem of hackable security codes on the horizon, and it was inspired by that all-so important muscle beating in your chest.

By applying concepts of biology to physics, scientists from Lancaster University have discovered a new method of nigh-flawlessly encrypting confidential information, creating a mathematical model inspired by the complex interaction between the heart and lungs and how they coordinate their rhythms by passing information between one another. Presently, every device from your online bank account to your electronic door opener to your account has different identification codes that allow information to be transferred in confidence, but that confidence is not always well placed. Due to the continual rise of cyber-crime/hackers, the demand for a better method of encryption has never been higher. This new model, created Dr. Tomislav Stankovski, Professor Peter McClintock, and Professor Aneta Stefanovska offers an infinite number of choices for the encryption key shared between sender and receiver. This makes it virtually impossible for anyone to crack its code, and according to Professor McClintock, this would include criminals and official eavesdroppers alike. In addition, this new method is highly resistant to random fluctuations, “noise,” which currently affects all communications systems and is able to transmit several different streams of information simultaneously, which enables multiple devices to operate on a single encryption key. According to Dr. Stankovski, “Here we offer a novel encryption scheme derived from biology, radically different from any earlier procedure. Inspired by the time-varying nature of the cardio-respiratory coupling functions recently discovered in humans, we propose a new encryption scheme that is highly resistant to conventional methods of attack.”

This new encryption method is a real breakthrough, and it comes from somewhere no on expected to find answers for a better system of encryption. According to Professor Stefanovska, “As so often happens with important breakthroughs, this discover was made right on the boundary between two different subjects – because we were applying physics to biology.”

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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