Secure Biometric Authentication with Fixed-Length Binary Representations.

Rohan Kulkarni (homepage)

Biometrics have been established to be extremely reliable at the task of identifying individuals and thus are at the core of several real-world systems ranging from employee attendance to access control systems in the military. With growing computing resources available to individuals, biometric authentication systems are being deployed in even wider range of commercial applications. The permanent nature of biometrics raises serious security concerns with these deployments. Also, losing one's biometric trait can compromise that individual's identity in all the systems he is enrolled in. Biometrics are of non-rigid nature, requiring a fuzzy matching process, thus making it difficult to directly borrow popular security techniques used elsewhere with passwords and key-cards. Thus, the research interest received by this field attempts to develop efficient and reliable biometric authentication systems while addressing the issues of security and privacy.

Binary biometric representations have been shown to provide significant improvement in efficiency without compromising the system performance for various modalities including fingerprints, palmprints and iris. Hence, this thesis is focused on developing secure and privacy preserving protocols for fixed-length binary biometric templates which use hamming distance as the dissimilarity measure. We propose a novel authentication protocol using a \textit{somewhat} homomorphic encryption scheme that provides template protection and ability to use masks while computing the hamming distance. The protocol operates on encrypted data, providing complete biometric privacy to individuals trying to authenticate, only revealing the final matching score to the server. It allows real-time authentication and retains matching accuracy of the underlying representation as demonstrated by our experiments on iris and palmprints.

We also propose a one-time biometric token based authentication protocol for widely used banking transactions. In the current scenario, the user is forced to trust the service provider with his sole banking credentials or credit card details for availing desired services. Often used one-time password based systems do provide additional transaction security, however the organizations using such systems are still incapable of differentiating between a genuine user trying to authenticate or an adversary with stolen credentials. Involving biometric security would certainly strengthen the authentication process. The proposed protocol upholds the requirements of secure authentication, template protection and revocability while providing user anonymity from the service provider. We demonstrate our system's security and performance using iris biometrics to authenticate individuals.


Year of completion:  December 2014
 Advisor : Anoop. M. Namboodiri

Related Publications

  • Rohan Kulkarni, Anoop M. Namboodiri - One-Time Biometric Token based Authentication Proceedings of the Ninth Indian Conference on Computer Vision, Graphics and Image Processing, 14-17 Dec 2014, Bangalore, India. [PDF]

  • Rohan Kulkarni and Anoop M Namboodiri - Secure Hamming Distrance based Biometric Authentication Proceedings of the 6th IAPR International Conference on Biometrics, 04-07 June 2013, Madrid, Spain. [PDF]