US patent for King Saud University invention in information security

Updated 13 February 2018

US patent for King Saud University invention in information security

RIYADH: In a major academic breakthrough for scientists from the King Saud University (KSU), their information security invention based on iris and fingerprint recognition has won the prestigious US patent.
“The United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved and issued a patent entitled ‘Systems and Methods Improving Cryptosystems with Biometrics’ under the US patent number 9,825,761 to the KSU,” Professor Muhammad Khurram Khan, one of the co-inventors, told Arab News on Monday. Other inventors from the KSU include Professor K. Alghathbar and Dr. Maqsood Mahmud, Khan said.
He added that owing to the large-scale proliferation of information and communication systems, security of data is of paramount concern for individuals, corporations and governments alike.
He said: “Conventional cryptosystems do not need any complex image processing and pattern recognition procedures as used in biometrics-based identification systems.”
Biometrics, which refers to methods for recognizing humans based on traits such as iris and fingerprints, represents the future of information security systems around the world.
“Biometrics can play an instrumental role and add an intricate layer in developing more secure and robust cryptosystems with increased confusion and diffusion properties,” Khan said.
“This invention is an innovative step toward building a resilient and secure cryptosystem while maintaining security and usability requirements.
“Biometrics is a great alternative and has a huge potential to substitute passwords, which are hard to remember and easy to be hacked or guessed,” he said, adding: “It also offers a new mechanism for securing the cryptographic keys.
“Thus, cryptographic keys can be protected by biometric authentication and it can also be used to encrypt or decrypt any kind of data. Our invention achieves it with high accuracy and security.”
Cryptography is a widely accepted solution to modern security systems and researchers are always looking to develop more secure, robust and resilient algorithms to protect critical data and systems from intruders and hackers.
Biometrics, when combined with classical and modern cryptographic algorithms, can achieve more robust security without compromising the performance of cryptosystems.
“This unique invention is an innovative contribution in the field of biometrics-based cryptosystems and very useful to enhance the secure storage and communication of data,” Khan said, adding that the invention meets with the new goals and aims of Saudi Vision 2030 to transform Saudi Arabia into a knowledge-based economy.

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”