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Vulnerabilities in biometric encryption systems School of Information Technology and Engineering,

Summary: Vulnerabilities in biometric encryption systems
Andy Adler
School of Information Technology and Engineering,
University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Abstract. The goal of a biometric encryption system is to embed a se-
cret into a biometric template in a way that can only be decrypted with
a biometric image from the enroled person. This paper describes a po-
tential vulnerability in such systems that allows a less-than-brute force
regeneration of the secret and an estimate of the enrolled image. This
vulnerability requires the biometric comparison to "leak" some informa-
tion from which an analogue for a match score may be calculated. Using
this match score value, a "hill-climbing" attack is performed against the
algorithm to calculate an estimate of the enrolled image, which is then
used to decrypt the code. Results are shown against a simplified imple-
mentation of the algorithm of Soutar et al. (1998).
1 Introduction
Traditional biometric technology tests for a match between a new image of an
individual and the key biometric features of an original image stored in a biomet-
ric template. If the biometric software detects a match, further processing in a


Source: Adler, Andy - Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences