Reliable and secure encryption key generation from fingerprints

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ Biometric authentication, which requires storage of biometric templates and/or encryption keys, raises a matter of serious concern, since the compromise of templates or keys necessarily compromises the information secured by those keys. To address such concerns, efforts based on dynamic key generation directly from the biometrics have recently emerged. However, previous methods often have quite unacceptable authentication performance and/or small key spaces and therefore are not viable in practice. The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel method which can reliably generate long keys while requires storage of neither biometric templates nor encryption keys. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This proposition is achieved by devising the use of fingerprint orientation fields for key generation. Additionally, the keys produced are not permanently linked to the orientation fields, hence, allowing them to be replaced in the event of key compromise. Findings ‐ The evaluation demonstrates that the proposed method for dynamic key generation can offer both good reliability and security in practice, and outperforms other related methods. Originality/value ‐ In this paper, the authors propose a novel method which can reliably generate long keys while requires storage of neither biometric templates nor encryption keys. This is achieved by devising the use of fingerprint orientation fields for key generation. Additionally, the keys produced are not permanently linked to the orientation fields, hence, allowing them to be replaced in the event of key compromise.

Keywords: Authentication; Biometrics; Data security; Fingerprints; Privacy; Security

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09685221211247307

Publication date: July 13, 2012

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