Protecting Biometric data...

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Imhotep, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Imhotep

    Imhotep Guest

    Imhotep, Aug 30, 2005
    #1
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  2. Imhotep

    nemo_outis Guest

    Imhotep <> wrote in news:pjZQe.71052$Yx1.4867
    @tornado.tampabay.rr.com:

    > http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/08/29/transforming.biometrics.ap/index.htm

    l



    The article discusses modifying biometric data "in a defined way" prior
    to storage such that recovering the data is not useful to a thief (in
    this case "distorting" facial data). While better than nothing this is
    hardly reassuring - if the process is "defined" then its algorithm too
    can be stolen.

    As for stealing biometric data it's trivial to do. For instance, it is
    obviously easy to "harvest" the fingerprints of others. Facial photos,
    ditto. Even more worryingly, it is easy to harvest DNA - discarded
    cigarette butts are one rich source (or hair sweepings from barber shops,
    etc., etc.). The possiblities for "biometric identity theft" are a rich
    field that has been little explored to date.

    I have long been interested in "spoofing" DNA (only, in principle, mind
    you - I am the very model of probity :) since it is regarded as
    unassailable evidence. Harvesting and then cultivating DNA from others
    could allow one to plant evidence at a crime scene either to implicate
    others, exculpate oneself, or cast severe doubt on the DNA evidence-
    gathering and processing process itself.

    Regards,

    PS The techniques for processing and spoofing DNA are not trivial - at
    least in terms of doing it in a way that is not easily detectable as data
    corruption/tampering.

    PPS I will discuss the following in the abstract rather than say I've
    ever done it :) but here's an idea. When submitting photos in order to
    get, say, a passport, it would be very easy to subtly distort the facial
    image (digital processing) such that the data the government collects is
    degraded without the distortions being obvious to the naked eye.
     
    nemo_outis, Aug 30, 2005
    #2
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