One of the most critical issues to solve when building multi-accessible systems, such as computer applications, cars or physical buildings, is to determine the identity of a person. A system protecting confidential information, or items of value, puts strong security demands on the identification. Biometry provides us with a userfriendly method for this identification and is becoming a competitor for current identification mechanisms, especially for electronic transactions. However, there are ways to compromise a system based on biometric verification. This article focuses on the drawbacks and risks of biometric verification, specifically verification based on fingerprints. It shows how all currently available fingerprint scanners can be fooled by dummies that are created with very limited means and skills.
This article should be read as a warning to those thinking of using new methods of identification without first examining the technical opportunities for compromising the identification mechanism and the associated legal consequences. This is especially true for people working with smart cards since it is quite common to store fingerprints on smart cards and due to the developments in solid state fingerprint scanners, integration of a fingerprint scanner on a smart card is possible.
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van der Putte, T., Keuning, J. (2000). Biometrical Fingerprint Recognition: Don’t get your Fingers Burned. In: Domingo-Ferrer, J., Chan, D., Watson, A. (eds) Smart Card Research and Advanced Applications. IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing, vol 52. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-35528-3_17
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