Biometric Hash has been a point of discussion recently because it helps handle biometric patterns in a private manner. There has been a wide research in the generation of a personal and stable hash values for individuals.
The owner of a locked phone looks at its camera, and it unlocks, his fingerprint once placed against the sensor unlocks the phone while yours doesn’t. Have you ever stopped to wonder how this works? This is due to biometrics.
Biometrics are intrinsic human features that can be used to identify an individual digitally and grant access to systems, devices or data. They are of two types which are: physical identifiers—fingerprints, facial and voice recognition, DNA, and behavioral identifiers. Biometric are unique to each individual, and they make authentication easier, faster and safer than customary passwords. It has a lot of beneficial features which include: being concealed, uniqueness, low processing time, unique ability among others.
Biometric hashing is the generation of stable hash values for each individual based on the vague data of a biometric characteristic. There are two main applications of biometric hashing which are: the generation of secure biometric templates and extension of cryptographic systems—one of which is the creation of individual cryptographic keys.
Fingerprint recognition and face ID used on phones is the most common biometric authentication technique used today.
How does biometric hash work?
Varying biometric characteristic data are obtained from an individual and converted into a biometric hash (an arbitrary code) using an irreversible biometric hash function. It is done in such a way that the hash would be unique, and same for the variations.
Once biometric hashes are created, they are secure and can’t be changed. Subsequently, when an individual data is received by the scanner, camera or microphone, a new hash is produced which is then compared to the hash initially stored in the database. This comparison is determined by difference in the already stored hash with the newly obtained one. The degree of the required correction determines the authentication success. Therefore, the generated hashes have to be similar to a certain degree. This is a top-notch security pattern, upon the input of biometric data, once the hash is authenticated, devices will automatically unlock, servers will automatically open, and relevant information can be revealed.
Biometric hash can also be used as a symmetric key for cryptographic systems. With this, a cryptographic system can use biometric characteristics as its key.
Problems of Producing Hash Functions
A major problem of producing biometric hash is the variation in the data of a particular person which may be due to the use of different sensors, inability to locate the specific orientation. The inadequate ability to represent a range of features and varying data results in the low accuracy of biometric authentication.
Face recognition has a low ability of managing input of poor quality. For instance, recognizing the morning face, the face wearing heavy make-up. Voice recognition also has a low ability in recognizing the morning sound. Some companies are researching how to make the system recognize such. The face/voice authentication has a high acceptability, but a low accuracy.
Security of Hash Functions
Non-biometric data such as passwords can easily be changed once they are exposed to a third party but biometric data sources such as eyeball, fingerprints can’t be changed. Therefore, there is a great need for its security.
If users’ information is not properly secured, it may be used for system attacks and people’s information collected. This is why some people would not want to reveal sensitive information about themselves to companies because if their database is hacked into and information are got by intruders, they become unsafe and exposed to potential harm and permanent risk.