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Hacker profiling

Recording typing patterns to univocally identify a hacker
  [vote for,

As you probably know, it is possible to identify a person by the way he or she writes. Apparently, there are some traits that are always present like the way the person crosses the Ts and things like that. It works sort of like a fingerprint (but less accurate I would guess).

Well, I’m willing to bet that the typing patterns could be used for the same effect. I’m sure that every person types some letter combinations faster than others and that these patterns must be pretty unique. If so, a special sniff-like program could be installed in suspected hackers so that these patterns could be identified. This information would later be used as evidence in court.

PauloSargaco, Sep 18 2003

The Gender Genie http://www.bookblog.net/gender/genie.html
Analyzes text to determine author’s gender. [Laughs Last, Oct 04 2004]

Keystroke Dynamics as a Biometric for Authentication http://avirubin.com/fgcs.pdf
Paper on typing biometry. [Detly, Oct 04 2004]

BBC News: "Mice sign on the dotted line" http://news.bbc.co....hnology/3191053.stm
"Soon the way you use your mouse could help prove who you are." [bristolz, Oct 04 2004]


       1. Could it be that I had that short story on my subconscient? Can't remember ever reading it, though...   

       2. You mean you voted up and down?
PauloSargaco, Sep 18 2003

       Oops, I think just delete my own post? Here it is again...   

       Hmmm...vague recollection of a sci-fi short story 10+ years ago in which this was employed as a plot device. A whole crew of hackers were picked up this way, except one, who used a program that imitated other hacker's typing styles (and was a girl!).   

       + for being a clever idea
- not for being fractionally baked but for aiding and abetting the police state
grip, Sep 18 2003

       1. Maybe, but I'd say I'd come up with the idea independently.   

       2. Yes and no.
grip, Sep 18 2003

       // 2. Yes and no. //   

       Ok, that was clear enough.
PauloSargaco, Sep 18 2003

       How about Wanker (whacker) profiling and Sucker profiling also?
mr2560, Sep 18 2003

       interesting but graphology techniques employ precise measurements as well as a degree of psychology. I imagine typing characteristics are quite limited in comparison.   

       I think of profiling as building up a picture of the villain in question e.g. redhaired, spotty teenager who lives with his mother and six goats on a houseboat, eats muesli and baked beans, considers darts and snooker as sports, wears an arsenal no 7 shirt and has a size 10 foot - the other one is a 12.
po, Sep 18 2003

       Installing sniffer programs on other peoples computers is hacking. Gotcha! See you in court! ... Isn't SPAM and cookies hacking also? (as well as anything else that gets in your computer without your consent) What exactly do you think hacking is?
mr2560, Sep 18 2003

       h4ck3r5 +3nd +0 h4v3 4 uniqu3 m3+h0d 0f +yping ;^)
Laughs Last, Sep 18 2003

       I thought that that style of typing was called "lame".
mr2560, Sep 18 2003

DeathNinja, Sep 18 2003

       this is definately an interesting idea, in theory. but, in practice i find it a violation of my civil rights, you know, that whole thing where you hack my computer to find out if i am a hacker myself. what would be the difference, however, between a "hacker's" typing patterns and a real hacker (someone who is just good at using the computer, like a coder or admin). again, i dont like the idea of this being used in court and such, but i would be interested in seeing a demonstration, just to see if it would be very accurate.
ironfroggy, Sep 18 2003

       Provided a couple of links on typing biometrics. Google for "typing biometrics" or "keystroke dynamics".
Detly, Sep 18 2003

       // Installing sniffer programs on other peoples computers is hacking. Gotcha! See you in court! //   

       Yeah, but this would be hacking sanctioned by the DA or whoever has powers to authorize things like phone taps in your juditial system.   

       [po] Well, maybe there's an english word that more preciselly translates what I described. English is not my first language, you know?
PauloSargaco, Sep 19 2003

       nope, I think you will need to invent one. detley's link looks very interesting.   

       Paulo, is your first language spanish?
po, Sep 19 2003

       [ironfroggy] Oh, no, the idea wasn't to just spread this sniffer. The idea was, after identifying a hacker's computer (which is a very, very, very difficult task, I know), install this sniffer which would identify the hacker in the same way as a fingerprint does. This would have to be authorized by the court oficial (or whoever).   

       [Detly] It really works? Cool :-)
PauloSargaco, Sep 19 2003

       PauloSargaco: interesting concept, but pointless in practice. If you've gotten as far as identifying a specific keyboard as being used by a hacker, then you can just use regular keyboard sniffers to pin the tail on the donkey. If you're anywhere further upstream, the hacker can easily evade your digital fingerprinting by running his/her typing through a cache before releasing it.
DrCurry, Sep 19 2003

       Virtual "evidence" is easily modifyable. Someone could take your picture and edit you into the scene of the crime with photoshop and send it to the police, if offered a reward for finding a villain. So I think you need "Real" evidence.
mr2560, Sep 19 2003

       Dropping the 'sniffer' idea for a second...   

       I don't know much about hacking, nothing really (got that FBI?). Seriously, though, when someone hacks into a computer, are their keystroke patterns recorded? That's a nifty digital 'fingerprint.' If not, traps could be set luring hackers into breaking into sites and recording their keystrokes. That's one end of the equation. The other is to find those same keystrokes somewhere else in cyberspace.   

       By monitoring ICQs, IMs, and other 'live' typing, someone could compare the metrics of that typing to ones stored.
grip, Sep 19 2003

       I dont like the idea of having the cops profile me. Whats next, them using the Patriot act to say i *might* be a criminal (as well as everyone else in the country) and installing a keylogger onto my computer? Dont think so...
excaliber, Feb 04 2004

       Come one, [excalibur], these things would be used only under the authority of a court in the scope of ongoing investigation...I mean, at least it should be like that.   

       [po] You're probably not going to read this after all this time, but I'm portuguese and that's my first language.
PauloSargaco, Mar 05 2004


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