Cryptography is the backbone upon which modern security has been established. For authentication, conventional cryptography depends on either secret knowledge such as passwords or possession of tokens. The fundamental problem of such mechanisms is that they cannot authenticate genuine users. Biometrics such as fingerprints, faces, irises, etc., are considered as uniquely linked to individuals and hence are powerful in authenticating people. However, biometric systems themselves are not attackproof and are vulnerable against several types of attacks. An emerging solution is to integrate the authentication feature of biometrics and the core function of conventional cryptography, called biocryptography. This chapter is designed to provide a comprehensive reference for this topic. The work is based on many publications which includes our own work in this field. This chapter also provides suitable background knowledge so that it is not only suitable for a research reference but also for a textbook targeting senior undergraduates and postgraduates with a major in security.
The organization of this chapter is as follows. Section 7.1 provides background materials on cryptography. Section 7.2 introduces the concept of biometrics technology and its applications. Section 7.3 discusses the issue of protecting biometric systems using bio-cryptography techniques. Section 7.4 is dedicated to conclusions.
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