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Security Breakthrough

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 29, 2017) – Chemist Jan Halámek is once again making headlines for his biometric-based research.

Halamek's research lab.

Chemist Jan Halámek with Mindy Hair (left), 2nd year chemistry Ph.D. candidate; Erica Brunelle, 4th year chemistry Ph.D. candidate; and Adrianna Mathis (right) '18 chemistry.

An assistant professor of chemistry at UAlbany, Halámek recently published a concept paper that proposes that our own skin secretions – or sweat – can offer better security for electronic devices than current authentication methods.

The paper has gone viral over the last two weeks with features in dozens of international, national and tech-based media outlets. Some of the largest include Mashable (50 million online readers per month), ABC News (32 million online readers per month) and Forbes (25.2 online readers per month).

Other headlines:

He was also interviewed locally by CBS 6 – WRGB and a guest on Fred Fishkin’s Techstination radio show.

Halámek’s idea is relatively simple; each one of us has a unique “amino acid profile” that can be measured and used for authentication. To build a profile, a smart device would monitor its owner’s sweat levels at different times of the day. Once the profile is developed, it would be continuously updated and used for identification when a device is held or worn

The concept could be seen in the real world within the next 5-10 years, according to Halámek.

"[The] sequence of the unlocking mechanism will be based on complex biological systems that cannot be ascertained by anyone other than the device’s owner,” said Halámek during his interview with Mashable.

Halámek’s new concept paper is his first that focuses on cybersecurity, but adds to a growing portfolio of research that involves testing biomarkers to catch criminals.

Over the last two years, Halámek and his research team have been featured in dozens of media outlets across the globe for their forensic discoveries. Some of the largest publications include the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American and Chemical and Engineering News.

You can learn more about Halámek by visiting his research website and University expert page.

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