William & Mary

Professor Gang Zhou receives DARPA award

Professor Gang Zhou

Professor Gang Zhou was awarded a grant of $195,214.00 from the Air Force Research laboratory, under contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to support a one year research project entitled “Hand Movement, Orientation, and Grasp (H-MOG): A New Behavioral Modality for Active Authentication of Smartphone Users.” This project is in collaboration with New York Institute of Technology.

In this project, Professor Zhou’s research team designs and develops solutions that continuously authenticate smartphone users in a non-interruptive way for normal smartphone application usage. Here is an example to illustrate the purpose of this project. After a user unlocks his/her smartphone and then use it for a while, he or she may temporarily leave for a short time, e.g. go to bathroom, while keeping the smartphone unattended somewhere, e.g. on his/her office desk. If another person comes in, takes the phone, and use it, solutions developed by Professor Zhou’s group will be able to detect that this is no longer the original user and hence will take appropriate action, e.g. deny access to the phone.

With the newly developed software system, Professor Zhou’s research group has conducted a large scale study of 80 users so far. On May 21, 2014, Professor Zhou and his PhD student Ge Peng also demonstrated their initial research results inside Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia, to a range of special audience.