TR2005-112

Secure Biometrics Via Syndromes



We consider the secure biometric storage problem and develop a solution using syndrome codes. Specifically, biometrics such as fingerprints, irises, and faces are often used for authentication, access control, and encryption instead of passwords. While it is well known that passwords should never be stored in the clear, current systems often store biometrics in the clear and are easily compromised. We describe the secure biometric storage problem by discussing the insecurities in current systems, the reasons why password hashing/encryption algorithms are unsuitable for biometrics, and propose a secure biometric storage framework based on syndrome codes and the Slepian-Wolf theorem.