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Belfast Tech Startup Using Automated Lip-Reading to Make User Authentication Systems More Resistant to Spoofing Attacks


Liopa commences trials of AI-based LipSecure with established User Authentication and Identity Verification providers to provide enhanced anti-spoofing capabilities.

BELAST, Co Antrim, 21/2/2019: Next to fingerprint analysis, face and voice recognition are the most popular biometric modalities employed in user authentication. Looking at mobile devices alone, the Android Facelock app has been downloaded over 5M times from the Google AppStore. And the increasing popularity of “selfies” show that people are very comfortable with this form of mobile device interaction.

But even though these biometric technologies are increasingly used in online authentication, they can be compromised. For instance, a photograph or video of a subject can fool facial recognition (FR) systems. Examples include how Samsung’s much vaunted Galaxy S8 FR device unlock feature has been “spoofed” repeatedly, photos from Facebook have been used to fool a variety of FR login systems and Iris detection, supposedly a highly robust authentication technique, has been compromised on a smartphone. It is essential that these authentication systems know that a “live” person is present and not an image/video of the subject. Increasingly sophisticated spoofing techniques necessitate better liveness checking capabilities within the authentication system.

Liopa’s LipSecure product provides a software-only liveness checker that is highly robust to spoofing attacks and is very easily integrated into existing authentication systems. LipSecure works in conjunction with the vendor’s existing FR system and prompts the user to repeat a random sequence of digits that appear on their screen. Liopa’s AI-based Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) technology, checks if the digits have been spoken/mimed correctly and thus determines if there is a “live” person present. Liopa has commenced commercial trials of LipSecure with a number of established authentication service providers.

Liam McQuillan, Founder and CEO, Liopa “These trials are an exciting opportunity to further develop and validate the LipSecure liveness checking solution in areas where FR technology is currently deployed, such as authentication for online services, Identity Verification for customer on-boarding, device unlocking etc.” He continued, “On its own, facial recognition is a very convenient biometric authenticator but poor liveness detection, and the resulting negative press, is materially impacting take-up, particularly in mobile devices. LipSecure provides a simple-to-use, highly robust Liveness Checker to ensure Facial Recognition systems are robust to increasingly sophisticated spoofing techniques.”

LipSecure is software-based so there are no expensive sensors required. It can be deployed in the cloud or on-premise, accessed from a range of on-device software development kits (SDKs) and is easily integrated with 3rd party Facial Recognition systems.

About Liopa
The company was spun out of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in 2015. Since then Liopa has been onward developing and commercialising research carried out within the university into the use of Lip Movements (visemes) in Speech Recognition. The company is leveraging QUB’s renowned excellence in the area of speech, speaker and dialogue modelling to position Liopa as a leading independent provider of viseme-based VSR technology.

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