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Towards a Robust Fingerprint Authentication System Protocol



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Journal of Information System Security
Volume 13, Number 1 (2017)
Pages 1934
ISSN 1551-0123
Kishor Krishnan Nair — Council for Scientific and Information Research (CSIR), South Africa
Albert Helberg — North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Johannes van der Merwe — Council for Scientific and Information Research (CSIR), South Africa
Information Institute Publishing, Washington DC, USA




In the present world, biometric authentication systems are increasingly being extensively used, of which Fingerprint Authentication Systems (FASs) are gaining massive acceptance across the globe and is used as a key security technique for accurate personal identification and verification. It is the most developed, matured, publicly accepted, and advanced biometric, with more history, research and, design than any other biometric scheme. FAS is a reliable and convenient solution that can be effortlessly implemented on devices and can be easily integrated at various points of identification and verification. It is popularly used for developing high security applications, and that is mainly because of two key reasons. Firstly, FAS offers a better security than other biometric counterparts, such as face recognition systems, hand geometry, signature verification, and voice recognition. Secondly, FAS is comparatively cheaper than other biometric systems, such as iris recognition and DNA fingerprinting. Although FAS provides higher security than the majority of its biometric counterparts and to conventional authentication systems, using passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), they are also susceptible to the inherent security vulnerabilities associated with biometric modalities in general. The most relevant vulnerability is that once the biometric template is compromised, it cannot be replaced or destroyed, as the biometric features are limited to a person. This paper begins with a background of FAS and it showcases the current biometric vulnerabilities, from an FAS perspective. Furthermore, an investigation is carried out to analyze the impact of these vulnerabilities on two popular and proprietary FAS protocols. The study conducted on the existing protocols reveals the necessity of a robust protocol, and the proposal for an improved FAS protocol is put forward. Thus, this research focuses on conceptualizing an FAS protocol that can address the major FAS protocol security vulnerabilities. It is abstracted based on the key idea of a unique One Time Template (OTT), which will be valid only for a single authentication session. Furthermore, the proposed FAS protocol does not need the storage and transmission of the original fingerprint template, thereby addressing the most dangerous vulnerability associated with biometrics, which is the compromise of the original biometric template. The proposed protocol will be further reviewed and criticized to recognize the value added of this study.




Biometrics, FAS, Nonce, OTT, Protocol




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