Saudi university to establish biometric security research laboratory

Updated 19 January 2018
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Saudi university to establish biometric security research laboratory

RIYADH: King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh has received a grant from King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) for research into secure biometric cryptosystems to aid digital security.
Biometric-based personal recognition technologies such as fingerprint, face, iris, palm print, voice and signature are used to identify a person by his or her unique behavioral or biological characteristics. An increasing number of countries, including the Kingdom, have decided to adopt biometric systems for national security and identity-theft prevention.
Prof. Mohammed Khurram Khan of KSU’s Center of Excellence in Information Assurance (CoEIA), and team leader of the research project, told Arab News on Wednesday that the grant had been approved for a project entitled “Hand-based Biometrics Fusion and Bio-Cryptosystem Computation.”
He added that the project was accepted “under the grant program for universities and research centers listed under the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 initiatives.”
Khan said biometrics are becoming an increasingly important component of security-related applications, including logical and physical access control, airport security, sea security, border control, forensic investigation, IT security, identity-fraud protection and terrorist prevention or detection.
But like any digital system, biometric systems can be hacked, modified or copied, so research into the development of more secure systems is vital, he added.
“Through the funding of this project, we will be able to establish a biometrics security research lab at the center, and build a strong research group for effective research projects in the Kingdom,” Khan said.
“This research project aims to develop a framework for a secure biometric cryptosystem by protecting biometric templates derived from the fusion of palm prints and palm veins to satisfy four biometric cryptosystem and template security criteria: Security, diversity, revocability, and accuracy of performance,” he explained.
“A cryptographic secure key will also be generated, which could also be used in state-of-the-art cryptosystems.”
He said apart from the societal benefits of secure data, the research “is expected to impact several areas, including national security, law enforcement and cyber-trust.”
Khan added: “This project will give the nation the technological strength needed to face global terrorism and security challenges and threats.”


Saudi crown prince calls for establishing health center dedicated to Pakistani hero

Updated 33 min 17 sec ago
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Saudi crown prince calls for establishing health center dedicated to Pakistani hero

  • The directive was issued during the crown prince’s visit to Pakistan on the first leg of his Asia tour
  • Khan managed to save 14 lives, but he drowned as he attempted to rescue the 15th person.

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has called for the creation of a health center in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province dedicated to the memory of a Pakistani hero who saved 14 lives in Jeddah’s 2009 floods, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

The directive was issued during the crown prince’s visit to Pakistan on the first leg of his Asia tour.

In November 2009, as flash floods roared through the port city, Farman Ali Khan secured a rope to his waist and jumped into the water to rescue people.

He managed to save 14 lives, but he drowned as he attempted to rescue the 15th person.

He was posthumously awarded the King Abdul Aziz Medal of the First Order by the Saudi government and Pakistan’s Tamgha-e-Shujat by then President Asif Ali Zardari. 

“What this man displayed is a rare act of heroism,” said Rania Khaled, an account executive in Jeddah. “He didn’t pause to think of where these people came from or their nationality — all he cared about was that everyone survived the terrible flood. As a result, he lost his life and that’s what makes his tale so heroic. He cared for humanity, not just his own well-being and safety.
“He set a very high example of what a human should aspire to be. Your background, race and nationality shouldn’t matter; what matters is that we all stand together and help each other. I think if people lived with a similar mindset to that of Khan, the world would be a better place.”
Razan Sijjeeni, a photography instructor in Jeddah, said: “I think what Khan did was not only heroic but also human. It says a lot about the kind of person he was in that moment when he chose to risk his life to save others. He gives us a lot to reflect on — who we are today and how much we should value human lives that are not necessarily related to us.”
Nora Al-Rifai, who is training to be a life coach, said that she hopes Khan’s widow and three daughters continue to receive the help and support they deserve.
“It’s a nice gesture that a Jeddah street was named after him as a reminder to all of us and the next generations of his selflessness and heroism.”