In the current historical and cultural framework, the identity verification is an increasingly urgent problem. Faked identities are used for a wide range of criminal purposes, both in the real word and in the internet environment. For example, terrorists use false passports to enter European and US borders, making this a big deal for physical security. Concerning online security, the scenario of the fake identities becomes more intricate. Half the people in the Planet Earth are now on internet, surfing the web, keeping connection with the outside world, using online services and interacting in social networks.

    However, the spread of internet is going hand in hand with the growing malicious use of it. Creating fake social network profiles, wide spreading fake news, posting fake reviews, identity theft to perpetuate online financial frauds are only few examples. To face these problems, all the big internet companies, like Google and Facebook, are now taking the direction towards the online lie detection research. In 2012, in a report for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook* declared that about the 8.7% of the worldwide active users are actually duplicate or false accounts. Moreover, for a large number of others online services, such as e-commerce and online banking, the verification of the truthfulness of the information provided by the users is currently a key issue.

    To deal with this problem, an interdisciplinary group of researchers from University of Padova, have studied (Article) a new lie detection technique to spot false identities. This technique is very promising, especially because it is easily integrable with online applications. The researchers found that the analysis of the keyboard-typing pattern, when the subject is engaged in responding to questions about identity, may be used to uncover whether the response was a truthful one or a deceptive one. The basic idea of the lie-detection scientists, Giuseppe Sartori and Merylin Monaro and Luciano Gamberini and the Security and Privacy Research Group of Padova University leaded by Prof. Mauro Conti, is that the study of the interaction between the user and the computer may be a tool to detect deception.

    Prof. Giuseppe SartoriImmagine 2 - Giuseppe Sartori 

    The novel technique that requires the examinee to undergo a computerized test in which questions about the claimed identity are presented on a computer screen. The subject is required to type the response on the computer keyboard: the typing pattern is first recorded in its temporal characteristics, and then classified by machine learning methods as coming from a truthful or deceptive responder.

    Giuseppe Sartori reports “We have shown that keystroke analysis of is a reliable index of the mental processes that underlie the production of a faked response to questions about identity. The respondent intention to lie produces an atypical typing pattern. We have shown that this technique may be used to identify a liar with an accuracy over 90%, both in real and online situations”.

    The new methodology can be used with any computer, even for remote testing, and could be used as an identity-screening test for those cases in which objective evidence about identity is lacking. It could be a new, simple, and cost effective tool for security agencies and to improve online security.

    Covert lie detection using keyboard dynamics – Scientific reports - Merylin Monaro, Chiara Galante, Riccardo Spolaor, Qian Qian Li, Luciano Gamberini, Mauro Conti & Giuseppe Sartori https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20462-6

    Immagine Merylin MonaroImmagine 3 - Merylin Monaro

    Merylin Monaro, Chiara Galante, Luciano Gamberini and Giuseppe Sartori are affiliated to: Department of General Psychology, University of Padova (Italy) Mauro Conti, Riccardo Spolaor and Qian Qian Li are affiliated to: Department of Mathematics, University of Padova (Italy) Corresponding author: Giuseppe Sartori (*) K. Heather, “83 million Facebook accounts are fakes and dupes” CNN, 2012.

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