Attacking fingerprint-based biometric systems by presenting fake fingers at the sensor could be a serious threat for unattended applications. This work introduces a new approach for discriminating fake fingers from real ones, based on the analysis of skin distortion. The user is required to move the finger while pressing it against the scanner surface, thus deliberately exaggerating the skin distortion. Novel techniques for extracting, encoding and comparing skin distortion information are formally defined and systematically evaluated over a test set of real and fake fingers. The proposed approach is privacy friendly and does not require additional expensive hardware besides a fingerprint scanner capable of capturing and delivering frames at proper rate. The experimental results indicate the new approach to be a very promising technique for making fingerprint recognition systems more robust against fake-finger-based spoofing attempts.
Keywords: Biometric systems, security, fake fingers, skin distortion, skin elasticity