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Table of contents
Biometric System Vulnerability
System Failures
Non-steady Infrastructure
Risks with Biometric System Security
Risk of User Data Being Stolen
Risk of User Data Getting Compromised
Biometric System Security and Attacks
Attacks in Biometrics
Biometric System Security
Criteria for Generating Biometric Templates
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Biometric System Security and Attacks

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The operations of a biometric machine rely closely on the entered gadgets, which can be subjected to operational limitations. At times, the devices themselves might also fail to seize the essential enter samples. They might not hold the pattern sufficiently. This makes the machine unreliable and inclined.

The extra inclined a biometric machine is, the extra insecure it is.

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Biometric System Vulnerability

There are two main reasons for biometric machine vulnerability −

System Failures

There are approaches wherein a biometric machine can fail to work −

  • Intrinsic disasters are disasters together with non-operating sensors, failure of function extraction, matching, selection-making modules, etc.
  • Failures because of assaults − Loopholes within the biometric machine design, availability of any computations to the attackers, insider assaults from unethical machine administrators, etc.

Non-steady Infrastructure

The biometric machine may be available to malicious customers if its hardware, software, and personal records are not safeguarded.

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Risks with Biometric System Security

The safety of a biometric machine is vital because the biometric records aren't always clean to revoke or replace. There are following distinguished dangers concerning the protection of biometric systems −

Risk of User Data Being Stolen

If the biometric machine is inclined, the hacker can breach its safety and gather the person's records recorded within the database. It creates extra dangers to privacy.

Risk of User Data Getting Compromised

After obtaining the biometric pattern, the hacker can gift a faux design to the machine. If a person's records are compromised, it stays compromised forever. The apparent cause is a person has best a restricted quantity of biometrics, and they're tough to replace, in contrast to passwords or ID cards.
Though biometric records are encrypted and stored, they desire to be decrypted for matching purposes. At the time of matching, a hacker might also breach the safety.

Biometric System Security and Attacks

A biometric gadget is a generation that extracts records out of organic or behavioral styles to apprehend a specific person. To recommend new procedures or to grow the overall performance and the accuracy of the present gadget, one has to know the number one biometric gadget, the parameters utilized in its making, kinds of errors, biometric scenario, biometric characters used for an application, boundaries of the device and current procedures. Any biometric gadget isn't optimal. There will usually be a want for reinforcing and enhancing the accuracy and the overall performance of the biometric device.

Attacks in Biometrics

The biometric gadget is subjected to many malicious assaults and may be executed via diverse threats. Cruel assaults on a biometric gadget are a safety difficulty and degrade the gadget's performance. The biometric device has diverse. 

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boundaries like spoof assaults, noisy sensor facts, interclass variations, interclass similarity, etc.

The excessive assaults apply to any biometric gadget that's to be analyzed, and countermeasures are to be taken simultaneously as designing the biometric device. The exclusive assaults in biometrics structures are as follow:

  1. Fake Biometric: 
    With the appearance of current technologies, diverse hackers provide a faux biometric pattern to a sensor to enter the biometric gadget. Fake face masks, fake fingerprints crafted from silicon, the lens on an iris, etc., are a few such malicious assaults at the sensor.
  2. Replay Attack:
    In this assault, the information flow within the biometric gadget is injected into the sensor and the processing gadget. A replay assault may be off to a few degree process. It first intercepts or copies the sensor transmission, then modifies or alters the records, replaying the facts sooner or later.
  3. Spoofing the Feature set:
    Changing the function set with faux or altered capabilities is known as spoofing facts. These spoofing assaults are generally used to assault diverse networks, unfold malware, and benefit entire records.
  4. Template Tampering Attack: 
    A template represents a hard and fast of salient capabilities that summarizes an individual's biometric facts (signal). The templates may be changed to achieve an excessive verification rating, regardless of which photo the gadget provides. The templates that can be saved within the database may be changed, stolen, or altered. Thus, bringing the device down via way of means of making the rating low for valid users. The template-producing algorithms had been regarded as one-manner algorithms.
  5. Overriding Yes/No response:
    An inherent mistake winning on your biometric structures is that the result of the gadget is usually a binary response, Yes/No (i.e., both match/no match). In different words, there's nevertheless an essential disconnecting among the biometric and applications, which make the gadget open to capacity assaults.
  6. Trojan horse assault: 
    In Trojan horse assault, the function extractor is changed to supply the preferred capabilities and feature on the one's abilities within the current database. The spoof detection generation has become a vital part of a biometric gadget with a growing difficulty for safety. The biometric assaults are to be identified, managed, and minimized. Researchers are growing various new procedures for a steady biometric gadget.
  7. Masquerade assault: 
    It changed into testing that a digital "artifact" photo can be constructed from a fingerprint template to submit to the gadget and produce a match. The item might not even resemble the actual image. This assault poses a good-sized risk to the far-off authentication machines. Since a hacker no longer ought to hassle to achieve a legitimate biometric pattern, all he desires is to get entry to the templates saved on a far-off server.

Biometric System Security

A quantity of answers is proposed to cope with the biometric device safety issue. Biometric templates are in no way saved withinside the uncooked form. They are encrypted, every now and then, even twice.

In the case of biometrics, there are numerous sources concerned along with people (topics or candidates), entities (device additives or tactics), and biometric statistics (facts). The safety necessities of confidentialityintegrityauthenticitynon-repudiation, and availability are critical in biometrics. Let us undergo them briefly −


It is the high-satisfactory or the nation of being pure, accurate, or authentic, in place of being reproduced. Information is proper while it's miles withinside the equal country and high-satisfactory while it turned into created, saved, or transferred.
There are authenticities in a biometric device − entity authenticity and statistics starting place authenticity. Entity authenticity confirms that each entity concerned inside the standard processing is what they declare. Data starting place authenticity guarantees genuineness and originality of statistics. For example, biometrics statistics are captured with sensor devices. The captured statistics from an accurate sensor aren't always spoofed from a preceding recording.

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It is proscribing facts getting entry to, and disclosure to legal customers and stopping get access to with the aid of using or exposure to unauthorized people. In instances of a biometric device, it mainly refers to biometric and associated authentication facts. At the same time, its miles are captured and saved, which desires to be stored mystery from unauthorized entities.

The biometric facts must be on hand absolutely to the man or woman it belongs to during identity and variation. The gaining access to candidates desires to be constrained with suitable safety measures.


The situation of being whole and unaltered refers to its consistency, accuracy, and correctness. For a biometric device, the integrity has to be high. Any malicious manipulations at some point of operation and garage have to be stored away or detected earliest with the aid of its notification and correction.


It is the identity of concerned sources along with entities and additives. It is likewise visible as accountability. For example, it prohibits a sender or a recipient of biometric facts from denying having despatched or acquired biometric points.


Aid has the assets of availability with recognition to a fixed of entities if all set contributors can get entry to the support. An element referred to as reachability guarantees that the people or device tactics can or can't be contacted, relying on consumer interests.

Attackers could make the device unusable for actual customers, consequently stopping them from using authenticated applications. These attackers goal the supply of the facts.

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Criteria for Generating Biometric Templates

Here are the standards for producing biometric templates −

  • We ensure that the template comes from a human candidate and is captured using an accurate sensor and software.
  • They are securing a biometric template with the aid of using encryption with irreversibility properties. This makes it challenging for hackers to compute the authentic biometric facts from the steady template.
  • They are creating an unlikable (precise) biometric template. A biometric device has to be no longer capable of getting entry to the template of the equal candidate recorded into any other biometric device. Suppose a hacker manages to retrieve a biometric template from one biometric device. In that case, he has to be no longer capable of using this template to get entry to via any other biometric device even though each verification can be primarily based totally on the equal biometric template of the candidate. Further, an unlinkable biometric device makes it impossible to derive any facts based totally on the relation among templates.
  • It is creating a cancellable and renewable template. It emphasizes the capacity to cancel or deactivate the compromised template and reproduce any other one comparably that a misplaced or stolen smartcard may be reproduced.
  • The 'renewable' and 'unlinkable' traits are completed via salting techniques. Salting provides randomly generated precise statistics recognized as 'salt' to the authentic facts to make it extraordinary from the others.
  • We are designing a biometric device with recognition to each FAR and FRR.
    Select an appropriate encryption set of rules carefully. Some algorithms may also make bigger, even miniature versions inherent in an individual's biometric statistics that can cause better FRR.
  • They use an integral encryption approach and a powerful hashing method while a specific permutation is carried out with every template generation. Various diversifications ensure the distinctiveness of every template regardless of the usage of the equal enter biometric statistics.
  • We employ a robust safety scheme to raise the device's overall performance.
    Many studies and improvements are being finished in the safety and privateness of biometric statistics.

Also read - active and passive attacks


  1. What are biometrics?
    Biometrics refers to figuring out people primarily based totally on distinguishing bodily or behavioral characteristics. This consists of fingerprints, irises, face and hand geometry, gait, voice, signatures, DNA, and different traits. Fingerprints (inked and now digital) have traditionally been the maximum customarily used. However, iris scans and facial reputation are getting greater prevalent. Likewise, there is a growing hobby in DNA for identity following improvements in fast evaluation capabilities.
  2. How is biometric technology used for identification?
    Biometrics can pick out people in ways. First, biometric facts may be used for authentication to affirm a person’s identity. In this case, an individual’s biometric is compared 1:1 towardssaved record (for example, on an ATM card). Secondly, they could make certain statistical uniqueness. Comparing one person’s biometric facts towards the more significant populace guarantees uniqueness. In the context of elections, for example, biometrics can save you, humans, from registering to vote more than one instance if every enrollee’s iris scans areas compared with the ones of all different voters.
  3. What is an example of biometric security?
    Here are a few not unusual examples of biometric security: Voice Recognition. Fingerprint Scanning. Facial Recognition.
  4. What is a Biometric attack?
    An assault at the biometric sensor givesfake biometric pattern into the system. Such assaults are designed to prevent detection (artificial negative) or masquerade as another (fake positive). The last assault is usually referred to as spoofing. 

Key Takeaways

This article is about Biometric Systems and how they can be used in daily life and organizations. We have seen different types of Attacks and their Security measures.

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