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Biometric devices, such as fingerprint, face, iris, voice, and handprint recognition, have been suggested for use in applications from access to personal computers, automated teller machines, credit card transactions, electronic transactions to access control for airports, nuclear facilities, and border control. Given this diverse array of potential applications, biometric devices have the potential to provide additional security over traditional security means such as passwords, keys, signatures, picture identification, etc. While biometrics may improve security, biometric systems also have vulnerabilities such as being spoofed by artificial fingers or, in the worst case, dismembered fingers. Two recent highly publicized drew attention to the spoofing vulnerabilities of biometric devices. Matsumoto and colleagues developed a method to spoof fingerprint devices making a mold from plastic and casts using gelatin, termed “gummy fingers”. Secondly, Lisa Thalheim and Jan Krissler for c’t magazine used simple techniques such as breathing on the fingerprint scanner to reactivate the latent fingerprint and using high-resolution still images and/or video. We have developed spoofing techniques in our laboratory using Play-Doh and cadaver fingers. Example spoof images are shown below. One method for anti-spoofing protection is liveness testing, that is, to determine if the biometric being captured is an actual measurement from the authorized, live person who is present at the time of capture.

Determination of fingerprint vitality
Perspiration for Detecting Liveness in Fingerprint Scanners—Comparison of Different Classifiers
Spoofing and Liveness Detection - Brief Background
Spoofing Fingerprint Devices

Figure: Images of spoof fingerprints made from Play-Doh (bottom) and of cadaver (top) fingerprints for a variety of fingerprint scanner technologies.