A Systematic Empirical Analysis of Forging Fingerprints to Fool Biometric Systems

A Systematic Empirical Analysis of Forging Fingerprints to Fool Biometric Systems

Christian Schwarzl (Vienna University of Technology and SBA Research, Austria) and Edgar Weippl (Vienna University of Technology and SBA Research, Austria)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 45
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2482-5.ch014

Abstract

This paper serves to systematically describe the attempts made to forge fingerprints to fool biometric systems and to review all relevant publications on forging fingerprints to fool sensors. The research finds that many of the related works fail in this aspect and that past successes could not be repeated. First, the basics of biometrics are explained in order to define the meaning of the term security in this special context. Next, the state of the art of biometric systems is presented, followed by to the topic of security of fingerprint scanners. For this, a series of more than 30,000 experiments were conducted to fool scanners. The authors were able to reproduce and keep records of each single step in the test and to show which methods lead to the desired results. Most studies on this topic exclude a number of steps in producing a fake finger and fooling a fingerprint scanner are not explained, which means that some of the studies cannot be replicated. In addition, the authors’ own ideas and slight variations of existing experiment set-ups are presented.
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The Fingerprint

The fingerprint is certainly one of the most well-known biometric characteristics. Unfortunately, fingerprints are often associated solely with their use in law enforcement, which has negatively burdened their application (Wikipedia, 2010b) (Figure 1).

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