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									Intro Biometrics

A More Secure World
Definition of biometrics
Purpose of biometrics and what it provides
over conventional security
Introduction of subgroups of biometrics
Current use of biometrics
Conclusion and thoughts on future
Definition of Biometrics
Biometrics are automated methods of identifying a person or verifying
the identity of a person based on physiological or behavioral

Biometric scanning is used for two major purposes: identification and
Identification: ―Do I know who you are?‖         One to Many
Authentication: ―Are you who you claim to be?‖ One to One

Biometric scans are more accurate, make it difficult to masquerade,
and generally require less of the user than standard security measures
such as password protection.

Biometric technology falls roughly into six categories: finger, hand,
iris, retina, face, and voice recognition.
Fingerprint Scan
The most widely-used biometric technology.
Measures the unique, complex swirls on a person's fingertip. The
swirls are characterized and produced as a template requiring from
250-1,000 bytes.
What is stored is not a full fingerprint, but a small amount of data
derived from the fingerprint's unique patterns.
At least four counties in California, including Los Angeles, use
fingerprint technology to reduce welfare fraud. Spain uses it for its
social security card — soon to be expanded for use in handing out
pension, unemployment and health benefits.
CANPASS, used by Canada customs, uses this technology to ease the
flow of goods between the U.S. And Canada. Truck drivers have their
fingerprints registered in order to pass through borders smoothly.
Although more accurate technologies exist, finger-scan is still
considered highly accurate.
Its acceptance rate among users is exceptionally high.
Hand Scan
Hand scan, also known as hand geometry, is a biometric authentication
Used for access control and time and attendance.
The system maps key features of the topography of a person's hand,
measuring all the creases on the palm. This is more expensive and
considered less accurate than other biometrics.
Strength: requires only ~9 bytes to store template.
Weakness: bulky scanner, expensive, and it does not compensate for
injuries to hands.
The U.S. Federal bureau of prisons uses hand geometry to track
movements of its prisoners, staff and visitors within prisons. Once a
person enters the system, they must have their hand scanned. The
information is put in a database and the person is issued a magnetic
swipe card that they carry at all times.
Disney World uses hand scans to authenticate season pass holders.
Market dominated by Recognition Systems Inc.
Iris Scan
The technology examines the unique patterns of the iris, the ring
around the pupil.
Very complex.
All iris recognition technology is based on research and patents held by
Dr. John Daugman of Cambridge University.
Iris scans are non-invasive. The person puts their face in front of a
camera which then analyzes all the features.
Even works with corrective lenses.
Highest accuracy of all the biometric technologies.
Iris scanners read 266 different characteristics as opposed to
fingerprint scanners which read about 90. The template used requires
only 512 bytes.
EyeTicket, a producer of iris technology, is launching a program with
Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. Frequent fliers can choose to join
the iris program which will facilitate their passage from the ticket
counter through Heathrow's customs and immigration.
Retinal Scan
Retinal scans examine the blood vessel patterns of the retina, the nerve
tissue lining the inside of the eye that is sensitive to light.
An infrared light source is used to illuminate the retina of the eye. The
image of the enhanced blood vessel pattern of the retina is analyzed for
characteristic points.
With the exception of some types of degenerative eye diseases, or
cases of severe head trauma, retinal patterns are stable enough to be
used throughout one's life.
Along with iris recognition technology, retina scan is perhaps the most
accurate and reliable biometric technology.
It is also among the most difficult to use, and is perceived as being
moderately to highly intrusive.
A retinal scan can produce almost the same volume of data as a
fingerprint image analysis.
Facial Scan
One method is called feature analysis which tracks about 80 facial
Essentially, the technology measures the peaks and valleys of the face,
such as the tip of the nose and the depth of the eye sockets , which are
known as nodal points – the human face has 80 nodal points, only 14
to 22 are needed for recognition — concentrating on the inner region,
which runs from temple to temple and just over the lip. It then comes
up with a face print. A facial template requires ~1,300 bytes.
Used in more than 100 casinos in the United States.
Used by authorities at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa to search for
felons among the crowd of 100,000 spectators.
Another method is to use Eigenface, roughly translated as "one's own
face," a technology patented at MIT which utilizes two dimensional,
global grayscale images representing distinctive characteristics of a
facial image. Variations of eigenface are frequently used as the basis of
other face recognition methods.
Voice Scan
Voice dynamics relies on the production of a "voice
template" that is used to compare with a spoken phrase. A
speaker must repeat a set phrase several times as the
system builds the template.
This biometrics technique relies on the behavior of the
subject rather than the physical characteristics of the voice
and is considered prone to inaccuracy.
Voice verification is used with passwords and PIN
numbers. A person must repeat the password and key in
numbers to gain access. The problem is that a person's
voice is susceptible to sickness, drugs and emotions.
Signature scan - analysis of characteristics in an
individuals signature. May soon help address the very
large demand for document authentication.
Keystroke scan - analysis of an individual’s typing pattern.
Can be used along with passwords for a very secure
Body odor, skin pores, wrist/hand veins, DNA, Shape of
ear, Gait, etc…
Use of Biometrics
IATA (International Air Traffic Association) - ―In the new
security environment, biometrics can quickly identify the
people who do not represent a security risk.‖
Network security - Authentication, ATM, Internet banking.
Non-Network based security - Home use, content control.
Sensitive environments, e.g. government buildings, prisons
Schools - Library cards, Computer access, Enrollment.
Businesses - Time and attendance.
Law Enforcement - Casino Operations, Super Bowl.
Etc…., The uses are endless.
With a rough start, eventually people began to understand that we need
more security, what better way than through the use of biometrics. In
recent years, the devices used have become more advanced and their
prices have dropped drastically. With the onset of cheaper and more
efficient devices an increasing number of businesses, government
agencies, and schools are starting to use them.
According to a March article published in Network World, the
biometrics industry, currently at about $300 million, is expected to
grow to $1.8 billion in the next four years. Finger scan, voice
authentication and signature verification are the three fastest-growing
segments by sales, according to the article.
Imagine a secure world without passwords.

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