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Biometric System Security Systems and Computer Engineering

Summary: Biometric System Security
Andy Adler
Systems and Computer Engineering
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada adler@sce.carleton.ca
Security is "freedom from risk or danger", while computer and data secu-
rity is "the ability of a system to protect information and system resources
with respect to confidentiality and integrity". Defining biometrics system
security is difficult, because of the ways biometric systems differ from tradi-
tional computer and cryptographic security [40]. Implicit in all definitions is
the concept of an attacker; however, biometrics should always be assumed to
operate in an (at least somewhat) hostile environment after all, why should
one test identity if all can be trusted? The ability of a biometric system
to stand up to "zero-effort" attackers is measured by the false accept rate
(FAR). Attackers may then change makeup, facial hair and glasses, or abrade
and cut fingerprints in order to avoid being recognized; attackers prepared
to try harder may use spoofing . This chapter deals with attacks which are
not spoofing, but those that target processing within the biometric system.
We define biometric system security by its absence. Since biometrics is
"automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioral and biolog-
ical characteristics", a vulnerability in biometric security results in incorrect


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


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences