Biometrics -is it really secure?

01The problem

Biometric data is increasingly collected for identification and access control - in particular the fingerprint. Until recently, there was a very important security flaw. No system in world could distinguish a "real" fingerprint from the mapping of an artificial or dead finger! This entices criminals to amputate a finger from the person responsible in order to gain access to a bank or vault – not such a calming thought. 

02The development

A North German company specialising in capturing and evaluating fingerprints wanted to develop a system, which can detect whether a fingerprint is that of a living finger with 99% certainty. 

03The solution

In addition to the design of a corresponding scanner, which maps fingers in a very short time with different illuminations, the focus was on the development of a software for image processing and discriminant analysis; this analyses the obtained data in the shortest possible time and can recognise every kind of artificial finger (including a recently severed finger with fresh blood). 

04The financing

50% of the project costs were borne by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The participation of a forensic institute was also financed.