Developed under a seedling project from Stealth’s work under the DARPA Brandeis program, MASQUERADE is a technology that enables securely displaying content on computer screens and projectors as images rendered using a strong cryptographic key, so that viewers cannot see the true intended content unless they are wearing “cryptographic glasses” that share the same cryptographic key with the display. Our prototype solution combines software running on an ordinary device, with an ordinary projector and paired with hardware glasses – inexpensively built from commercial off-the-shelf LCD glasses (modified 3D glasses). The technology is applicable across multiple platforms, leveraging the underlying existing hardware, and does not require expensive Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality hardware.
This type of screen securing differs dramatically from existing passive “privacy” screens in a fundamental way, and our technology is based on strong underlying mathematical building blocks. Passive privacy screens rely on viewing angles, which can be easily overcome, and they cannot be used to obscure content displayed on a remote viewing surface such as a projection screen. Our MASQUERADE technology also differs from various active “camera-based” solutions that require a camera to see the screen and decode it with additional computation power: such approaches introduce far more cost and potential insecurities into the system. By contrast, our MASQUERADE prototype is robust against eavesdropping attempts in such a manner that even someone sitting next to the intended viewer in front of the screen cannot see the decrypted “true” content without a paired pair of glasses. That is, even if another person is wearing the same type of cryptographic glasses, but said glasses have a different cryptographic key that is not paired with the screen, they still cannot see what is being displayed.
This work was supported by DARPA and NIWC Pacific under Contract No. N66001-15-C-4065, Distribution Statement A: “Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited. If you have any questions, please contact the Public Release Center”. The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.