The last decade has witnessed massive growth in both the technological development, and the consumer adoption of mobile devices such as mobile handsets and PDAs. The recent introduction of wideband mobile networks has enabled the deployment of new services with access to traditionally well protected personal data, such as banking details or medical records. Secure user access to this data has however remained a function of the mobile device's authentication system, which is only protected from masquerade abuse by the traditional PIN, originally designed to protect against telephony abuse. This thesis presents novel research in relation to advanced subscriber authentication for mobile devices. The research began by assessing the threat of masquerade attacks on such devices by way of a survey of end users. This revealed that the current methods of mobile authentication remain extensively unused, leaving terminals highly vulnerable to masquerade attack. Further investigation revealed that, in the context of the more advanced wideband enabled services, users are receptive to many advanced authentication techniques and principles, including the discipline of biometrics which naturally lends itself to the area of advanced subscriber based authentication. To address the requirement for a more personal authentication capable of being applied in a continuous context, a novel non-intrusive biometric authentication technique was conceived, drawn from the discrete disciplines of biometrics and Auditory Evoked Responses. The technique forms a hybrid multi-modal biometric where variations in the behavioural stimulus of the human voice (due to the propagation effects of acoustic waves within the human head), are used to verify the identity o f a user. The resulting approach is known as the Head Authentication Technique (HAT). Evaluation of the HAT authentication process is realised in two stages. Firstly, the generic authentication procedures of registration and verification are automated within a prototype implementation. Secondly, a HAT demonstrator is used to evaluate the authentication process through a series of experimental trials involving a representative user community. The results from the trials confirm that multiple HAT samples from the same user exhibit a high degree of correlation, yet samples between users exhibit a high degree of discrepancy. Statistical analysis of the prototypes performance realised early system error rates of; FNMR = 6% and FMR = 0.025%. The results clearly demonstrate the authentication capabilities of this novel biometric approach and the contribution this new work can make to the protection of subscriber data in next generation mobile networks.

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