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Biometrics

Introduction      

Physiological or Behavioral

Verification vs. Identification

Applications

Biometrics Technologies

How it works

Benefits

Are Biometric Systems Difficult to Use?

Security of Biometrics           Template

What Factors Cause Biometric Systems to Fail?

Application design

 

Biometrics

Security of Biometrics Template

If my template is compromised, does that mean that I can never use the biometric again?

Not in a well-designed system. If a criminal steals or guesses your password, it is very easy to have it changed. There is a fear, however, that if a criminal gets hold of a biometric template, the damage is irreparable - there is no way to change that part of your body. Although templates are often encrypted when in transit and storage in order to protect against such an occurrence, what happens if a template is compromised?

The answer depends on how well a biometric system is designed. If a system allows a template to be inserted into the verification process without ensuring that this template came from an actual placement, a compromised template can pose a problem. However, a well-designed system will ensure that the information it is analyzing is not a recording but is in fact a new sample.

One way to assure that a new template is being submitted is to seed the request for a sample. This involves the biometric system sending an encrypted random number (known as a seed) to the biometric sensor. This number can be encrypted such that only the sensor itself can decrypt the message. When returning the biometric template, the sensor also sends the seed number back (encrypted). This ensures that the template being sent was created immediately after the request for the template (as opposed to an old template that has been recorded and played back).

The size of a template varies by technology and vendor. It varies from 9 bytes to as much a 2kb. Fingerprint template is normally about 500Bytes in size. Templates can be stored in databases or files.

 

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