2002 Conferences

10th CACR Information Security Workshop

Ari Juels,
Principal Research Scientist, RSA Laboratories

Fuzzy Vaults: Toward Secure Client-Side Matching

In the design of biometric authentication systems, where to perform matching is as vexed a question as that of how to perform matching. Matching of templates on a central server creates a single point of vulnerability and an undesirable level of architectural complexity. Matching on smart cards or other secure hardware devices offers potentially the best level of security. In practice, though, this solution is costly to implement well, and disadvantageous in its lack of full portability. Performing matching on client computing devices is perhaps most desirable from an architectural point of view, but offers poor security in its straightforward forms.

In this talk we introduce the notion of a fuzzy vault, a construct stemming from the intersection of cryptography and error-correcting codes. Fuzzy vaults are tailored to and hold forth the promise of secure client-side matching. We discuss the basic idea and describe work at RSA Laboratories aiming to refine fuzzy vault techniques for use in biometric authentication.

Speaker's Bio
Dr. Juels received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at U.C. Berkeley in 1996, and subsequently joined RSA Laboratories as a research scientist. He now oversees the applied research group there. His research interests span a number of areas in data security, including authentication, biometrics, electronic voting, financial cryptography, and privacy protection.

Slides from Dr. Juels' presentation.