biometric technology today BTT - Volume 7 Number 8
BioIS cracks 50% of biometric systems Btt has gained exclusive access to the statistics, which come from the BioIS study in Germany (Btt April '99, p4). Since March, the study has looked at the performance of biometric technology under field conditions and under penetrative attack. It is being run by the Fraunhofer Institute of Computer Graphics.
Btt has gained exclusive access to the statistics, which come from the BioIS study in Germany (Btt April '99, p4). Since March, the study has looked at the performance of biometric technology under field conditions and under penetrative attack. It is being run by the Fraunhofer Institute of Computer Graphics.
Although the research into penetrative attacks is not yet complete, it will no doubt prove unpleasant reading for many of the project's suppliers, especially considering the relative simplicity with which their systems were foiled. So far, almost half (45%) of the systems have been duped using methods, such as video playbacks, fake fingerprints and pictures of enrolles persons.
The field investigation statistics were only slightly better with just two of the 10-12 systems tested giving excellent results. Five to six systems operated within acceptable parameters, while three to four performed poorly. That said, a researcher at the institute told Btt: "A system performing perfectly in the field investigation may have been easily foiled."
The field investigation, which is now complete, was made up of approximately 40 people representing different age, employment, educational and ethnic groups. Its main objectives were threefold. First, to gather experience with biometric systems and to identify any weak points. Second, to obtain statistical information on false rejection rates and third to observe the behaviour of users over a prolonged period of time.
The study has found a number of potential problems with the technology under investigation. For example, with speech analysis problems such as background noise and poor quality microphones hindered identification. And with fingerprint techniques certain groups of people experienced problems.
Other areas of the study are looking at biometric systems from a legal, financial and social standpoint. There is also a forensic aspect to the study, to investigate the admissibility of biometric evidence in a court of law.
The study is being financed by the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), the German Information Security Agency, and the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), German's Federal Police Agency. When the study is complete in March 2000, full results will be made available to the vendors of the systems tested, while more extensive results will be made public at an open conference in February 2000.
BSI is currently considering extending the study with the aim of formulating technical test methods. BSI hopes these could eventually form the basis of recognised standard for security of biometric systems.