Biometrics technologies are used to accurately identify and verify an individual’s identity. This involves identifying his physiological and behavioral characteristics. Biometrics, in general, refers to the study of biological characteristics. With reference to computer security, it refers to authentication techniques using biological characteristics that are measurable or identifiable, and unique to an individual. The basic idea behind biometrics is that no two people are same (excluding the fact they are twins). The paper discusses the working of various biometrics techniques as well as on what grounds they are judged to be effective. Also we show how some biometrics techniques are “Hard to forge but easy to steal!” The paper shows how human being is converted into a key, of the lock that protects his private and necessary information. Also we stress over the fact of adopting better encryption technique for data transfer and data storage. NUMBER OF WORDS :>> 144

CLASSIFICATION :>> Biometrics can be separated into two classifications. but it is important to determine which type of security works best in a given environment. HISTORY :>> Looking. So what exactly is this thing called biometrics? What’s really the fuss about this thing? The best way to describe it is as follows “Biometrics is the science of using digital technology to identify an individual based on their unique physical and biological qualities. The next thing that you find the most is the outstanding and extensive use of the technology called as BIOMETRICS. It’s quite logical to say that some how forensic science gave birth to biometrics. Biometrics. your finger prints. there are few things common to every James bond movie. It is not so much to see which one is better. this is a technical paper”. This technique verifies a person’s identity from a physical characteristic or a behavioral trait”. we have “THE BMW”. your beautiful eyes. The way you speak. the way you look. physiological and behavioral. It’s the best combination of both these fields. Behavioral identifiers are generally considered less conclusive because they are subject to such limitations as illness. and mood changes. but the field really stormed and revolutionized on the onset of the never ending development that computer industry is making. Physical identifiers do not change over time or with mood. which crosses every defined boundary that one can even imagine. The concept utilizes you. traces itself back to 1920’s when the use of finger prints as a means of identification was used. Well!! To people who are not convinced with this idea and have some other idea rocking in there mind. ear and other hell lot of things which are exploited in such a positive way that provide you security. afterwards the research began in the field of redefining the parameters for human identification. the technology that today has started to redefine the boundary of the medical industry and the computer industry. isn’t it? To start with. I would like to tell them that “Dear. though seems to be a modern branch. into the history we find that biometrics. You may think the idea to be too futuristic and too obscure.2 BIOMETRICS – A PRIMER OVERVIEW INTRODUCTION :>> Bond! James Bond!! Well. Well. imitation. the human being itself as key. biometrics is the answer to all problems that are created when you forget your passwords and PIN or just mingle them up with one another. but my dear smart pant the world is now really making a move toward it!! In general. .

. “live” information. It’s here during the comparison of the old and live template.3 Physiological classification includes: includes: Fingerprints Hand Geometry Eye Patterns Facial Recognition Behavioral classification Voice Authentication Signature Analysis MEASUREMENT PARAMETERS :>> Everything. When a users logs on. Similarly we have units. Only the minutiae are stored in the image. has a unit or a parameter to describe its capability. Well it’s quite logical why we don’t have high value for these parameters. not the actual fingerprint. These are FRR and FAR. FAR: . but the tiny irregularities within the print. If it checks out. To enroll a new user. the template is compared against the new. WEAK BIOMETRICS PLEASE PUT YOUR FINGER :>> An individual’s finger is scanned from various angles. The reader takes a picture of the fingerprint and the system’s software converts the fingerprint into a map of minutiae (precise) points.It stands for False Acceptance Rate. FRR: . WORKING :>> No matter which biometric method is used. The print map of the fingerprint is stored for reference. To gain access. an encrypted template file of the users’ biometric information must be stored on a server or client PC. not the swirled lines that we normally associate with a fingerprint. the underlying process is similar. For a biometric technique to be acceptable and to be publicly used it should have both these parameters to low value. to be precise the parameters that measure the capability of the type of biometric technique applied. the concept of FAR and FRR comes into picture. which is under the sun.It stands for False Rejection Rate. access is granted. a user holds their finger to the reader and the print map is matched to the print map that is stored. which means that the rate at which a legitimate match is denied to access. which means that the rate at which an imposter is accepted as a valid match.

relative speed. The position and movement of the glottal tissues. . WHATT!!!! :>> All these techniques mentioned above are having one or the other thing wrong with them. So if these methods are weak then where are the strong methods? The answer lies in the next section. and tongue correspond with speech movements in the vocal tract. recognizing a face involves taking pictures of that face. The only thing wrong with this thing is that this forms the behavioral view of a person which as a matter of fact may change with time and may lead to FRR. So let’s what’s wrong with them. SAY CHEESE :>> Like other biometric techniques. If your fingerprint gets into the wrong hands. jaw.4 AUTOGRAPH PLEASE :>> The user signs his/her signature on a digitized graphics tablet with a stylus. The system compares what the signature looks like with how it is signed. Biometric technology reduces each spoken word into segments. stroke order. and comparing this to existing templates in a database. An individual’s fingerprint is unique and each person will always have the same one. This table of tones yields the speaker’s unique voiceprint. extracting its features. another person could pose as you. creating a template from these features. To start with we have fingerprint scan. lips. SPEAK IT ALOUD :>> Voice biometrics works by digitizing a profile of a person’s speech to produce a stored model voiceprint or template. but not impossible. The face of a person may change with the age and the voice may also change with time. Signature dynamics such as speed. Next is the signature analysis. Each segment has three or four dominant tones that can be captured in digital form and plotted on a table or spectrum. stroke count and pressure are analyzed. It is difficult. So we name these methods as “weak biometrics”. A same type of problem is faced by face recognition and voice recognition biometrics. to translate a print map.

So it becomes close to impossible for an imposter to fake a DNA sample or avoid leaving a trace at a crime scene. Even the personal belongings of people like hairbrushes. DNA samples can be collected in many more forms than blood samples. The length of this sequence is immense and beyond comprehension! DNA matching has advantages over other means of biometric verification. Microsoft has recently declared that they will introduce biometrics in their coming versions of windows operating system.5 STRONG BIOMETRICS HAND GEOMETRY :>> When a person places his or her hand on a reader. thickness. DNA FINGERPRINTING :>> DNA Fingerprinting uses genetic material to identify individuals. retina scans or fingerprints. Here A stands for “Adenine”. To gain access. T stands for “Thymine”. The low cost. nothing wrong with that buy hope that they don’t use DNA fingerprinting because if that is the case then if you want to start your PC on Saturday than you either you have to switch on your PC either on Wednesday or on Tuesday. DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid)-the hereditary material that determines what genetic traits we inherit-is supposed to be the most distinctive. U’s and C’s in random order. it is read three-dimensionally. These alphabets refer to the nitrogenous bases. Biometrics relies on distinctive individual physiological traits. The reader checks a multitude of different measurements. EYE SCANNING :>> . with the entire process taking about one second. width. U stands for “Uracil” and C stands for “Cytosine”. G stands for “Guanine”. DNA samples can be taken from the body if the subject or his personal belongings are passed through chemical processes. G’s. they can also be transferred to a computer. While the template can be stored internally in the reader itself. to which are attached the nitrogenous bases. Within such traits. Present day technology still takes more than couple of days for DNA verification. Structurally. The reader updates the template every time a person’s hand is scanned. T’s. it is a long double-helical chain of a phosphate backbone. the user places a hand on the reader and a template is called up to verify their identity. and surface areas. including length. the ease of use and the convenience offered by the technology has made it a viable alternative for commercial access applications. taking into account growing children or weight changes. This DNA fingerprint is in the form of a sequence of A’s. toothbrushes or clothes carry their DNA from phenomenon like natural skin flaking. The unique characteristics are stored in a template…a mathematical representation of the hand for later retrieval and comparison. Hand geometry is the granddaddy of biometrics. Well.

In this scanning. The retina is an internal part of the eye. which is way above the current population of the Earth. Iris scanning can be done at day or night. the characteristics of the iris are taken into account. pupil. The unique pattern of the blood vessels can be recorded by a retina scan device. If they match. THE BIG QUESTION?? Everything alright with biometric. The IrisCode constructed contains information the characteristics and position of the unique points. A separate branch dealing with encryption and biometrics is emerging with a hope that they will find the required algorithm for squiring the data. and is a set of thin nerves which senses the light coming through the cornea. Since the retina is an internal portion of the eye. And the chance that any two people may have the same pattern is one in 10 to-the-power-78. As it is carried out from up to 2-feet it is not considered to be intrusive.6 Retina scanning and iris scanning are two biometric technologies that use the characteristics of human eyes for authentication like fingerprints. The retina is located at the back of the eye. what about the phase involved in biometric when the created template from the client is being transferred to the database at server for comparison? Or what about the security of the database stored in the server? Well any eavesdropper can get into the above process and get the required template. While scanning. with glasses or contact lenses on. whose retina pattern has to be scanned. The iris provides the most comprehensive biometric data after DNA. The patterns of blood vessels which make up the retina are unique for each individual. The individual. eye lens and vitreous humor. the individual looks at a rotating green light. access is permitted else prohibited.of the Iris are recorded. retina scanning is considered intrusive. About 266 unique points (compared to 40 in finger prints) are recorded and converted into a 512 byte IrisCode (somewhat similar to barcode). For recording the iris pattern. Also the position of the eye must not move while it is scanned. must have his eye located at a distance of not more than a half inch. which sadly he can use against you! Well. while the iris is the outer colored part. The iris has colored streaks and lines that radiate out from the pupil of the eye. a monochrome camera is used and the distance between the eye and the camera can be at most 3 feet. the retina and iris of the human eye exhibit uniqueness for each human. Thus the individual tend to be more hesitant to get exposed to the scanning. The recorded pattern is compared against the blood vessel pattern of the individual.at the pupil . The patterns located at the inner edge . . the answer lies in the encryption technique to be used. in that order.

Biometric applications will likely be used in conjunction with other applications. biometrics has the potential to become everything visionaries imagined it could be. As James Bond would say. aligning its products to the way many companies do business. which may transform them from security measures to integral parts of daily life. Just some questions that come to mind are: • How will such large amounts of information be stored? Will the database be secure to intruders? Will our personal and business information be shared without our consent or knowledge? • Will we lose our human identity? Will turning your fingerprints over to an ebusiness present a viable solution? Is e-signature in your future? Will airlines be asking you for your fingerprint instead of a photo ID? • Will biometrics provide the medical community access to our health history? • What sort of encryption technique would be used for security purpose? If the industry works together. . “Never say never again”.7 WHAT LIES HELD IN STORE FOR BIOMETRICS? Biometrics is moving into the mainstream.

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