Biometrics Institute releases presentation attack detection research
02 September 2019 15:15 GMT

The Biometrics Institute has launched a new guiding document to provide clarification around presentation attack detection (PAD) and liveness. The document explains what PAD and liveness is and suggests some general considerations and questions users may want to ask when choosing a biometric product. It also points to standards and additional information sources available.

Biometric data, obtained either directly or covertly from a person online or through hacked systems, is sometimes used to attack a biometric system by creating spoofs or fakes. This attack might use a printed photo, an image or video of a person on a tablet or by presenting a 3D mask or fake silicone fingerprint. A biometric spoof that is detected when presented to a biometric sensor is known as presentation attack detection.

The specific detection of whether a sensor is viewing a live biometric – as opposed to a recording, picture or another non-living spoof – is commonly known as liveness. Liveness detection is therefore a subset of the potential attacks that might be detected through PAD.

Isabelle Moeller, the Biometrics Institute’s chief executive says, “We’re pleased to add this PAD document to our growing suite of guiding materials. Spoofing attacks pose a high security risk for those involved with biometric technology operations, so mitigating the risk and understanding presentation attack detection better is a priority for our members and stakeholders.”

The document is the result of consultation with the Biometrics Institute Security and Integrity Expert Group (BSIEG), which comprises a broad spectrum of security and authentication specialists from around the globe.

Ted Dunstone, head of the BSIEG says, “When it comes to good practice in biometrics, testing for vulnerabilities and accuracy, alongside privacy and IT security, are key areas for review. Seriously considering the risk of a presentation attack and devising appropriate countermeasures is highly recommended.”

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