Getting drunk could make it harder to enter your password – even if your brainwaves are your login.
Brainwave authentication is one of many biometric measures touted as an alternative to passwords. The idea is for a person to authenticate their identity with electroencephalogram (EEG) readings. For example, instead of demanding a passcode, a computer could display a series of words on a screen and measure the user’s response via an EEG headset. EEG signatures are unique and are more complex than a standard password, making them difficult to hack.
But while research suggests that EEG readings can authenticate someone’s identity with accuracy rates around 94 per cent, there could be confounding factors – including whether you’ve had a few too many drinks.
The scientists decided to test this theory experimentally, by analysing people’s brainwaves before and after drinking shots of Fireball, a cinnamon-flavoured whisky. They presented their findings at security conference in Washington DC, with initial results from a small number of tests indicating that brainwave authentication accuracy could fall to 33 per cent in inebriated users.