Kai Receives US Patent for PASSMEMORY Authentication System

Kai Corporation, a Tokyo-based developer of authentication technology, is pleased to announce that it has received a United States patent for its proprietary PASSMEMORY(R) authentication system, which employs the memory of users themselves. PASSMEMORY(R) may be described as a “third authentication method” where the task of authentication is conducted not by machines or computers as with biometric or password systems, but rather within the human brain. As such, it represents a paradigm shift from conventional authentication systems.

PASSMEMORY authentication system

The basic patent, under the name PASSMEMORY(R), concerns a system where names of familiar friends or places, old photos, and sounds familiar to users themselves are registered in advance. When the system is used for authentication, registered data is mixed with decoy data, and users are prompted to choose correct answers in rapid succession. The patent is the system itself, as well as in the embedded recording media, such as USB memory.

Kai Corporation has designated The Brains Inc. as its general sales and marketing agent in both Japan and the US. Tokyo-based C4 Technology, Inc. has already received approval through The Brains to implement PASSMEMORY(R) technology from February 2006.

The Brains is now marketing PASSMEMORY(R) in a development kit (server version) that makes it easy to introduce PASSMEMORY(R) authentication, as well as PASSMEMORY(R) Archiver Ver.2.0, a compression and decompression software with PASSMEMORY(R) capability. PASSMEMORY(R)-based systems can also be custom-developed.

“Our technology could become a solution to many authentication problems as privacy has become an increasingly important issue with many security solution providers having to resort to conventional as well as state-of-the-art biometric systems which are based on a part of our body,” said Akira Taguchi, president of Kai Corporation. “We’re very please to collaborate with our long-time business partner The Brains in our efforts to promote our unique authentication technology in the US where our patent has been approved.”

Yasuko Nakazawa, Representative of Brains Inc., said, “We’re excited about our new endeavor in marketing this unique human-based authentication system in the US. PASSMEMORY is the only authentication system for which data is not only impossible to forget, but also cannot be stolen or lost. Hardware-free, PASSMEMORY is extremely economical, and consequently is receiving support from both users and administrators.”

The Brains will exhibit the PASSMEMORY(R) authentication system and related products at the 3rd Information Security Expo, at Tokyo Big Sight from June 28 (Wed) to 30 (Fri). A presentation on PASSMEMORY(R) is also scheduled at Exhibition Stand 46-6 (East Wing).

A PASSMEMORY demonstration is available at the Kai Corporation’s website. Users can experience demonstrations in PC, ATM, and cell-phone formats.

The US patent, awarded on June 20, 2006, is No. 7065786. PASSMEMORY(R) has already been patented in Japan (No. 3695695).

PASSMEMORY(R) is a registered trademark of Kai Corporation.

‘PASSMEMORY’, and its basic patent, is an authentication system wherein users register, in advance, names of acquaintances or places they have visited, old photos, or sounds that they remember. During the authentication process, users choose the right answers from lists that contain multiple “decoy answers.” Users select the required number (which can be freely set) of “unforgettable names,” then the system mixes these with decoy names, chosen at random, to create lists of names. The number of lists can be freely set.

For authentication, users choose, in quick succession, registered names that they remember. If the authentication uses 10 names per list (one set by the authorized user, and nine decoys) with five lists, the probability of guessing all answers correctly is 1/100,000. However, because authentication must be done manually in a limited time (which can be freely set), it is extremely difficult for anyone other than the authorized user to be authenticated. For the time being, Kai Corporation plans to produce practical systems that use text data, such as lists of friends’ names.

Passwords, which are currently in widespread use, must be changed frequently to prevent unauthorized use. This makes password administration increasingly complicated. Moreover, biometric authentication technology, which is expected to come into widespread use in the future, has technical issues that must be resolved; for example, it requires comparatively expensive terminal equipment, has problems with accuracy, and possesses the possibility that users’ biometric data will be abused.

About Kai Corporation
Established in April 1997, Kai Corporation has been engaged in R&D on digital authentication technologies. With its proprietary authentication technology PASSMEMORY(R) patented in both Japan and US, the company will reinforce its efforts to promote the technology in both countries through licensing in collaboration with its partner The Brains Inc.

About The Brains Inc.
The Brains Inc. was established in April 2005. The company has forged a multi-layer alliance with partners for various operations ranging from marketing strategies, operation support and consulting to product design/development, online marketing, and web application development. The company is a group of specialists who have good experience in those operations.