Watermarked face recognition scheme
: enhancing the security while maintaining the effectiveness of biometric authentication systems

  • Mohd Rizal Bin Mohd Isa

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Biometric authentication systems provide alternative solutions to traditional methods that are based on knowledge (e.g. password) or physical tokens (e.g., smart card). Many studies now focus on getting high accuracy rates for biometric verification. However,with advances in technology, biometric data (e.g. fingerprint, face, iris) can be captured/sniffed, duplicated, modified, and then resubmitted in the same or in other applications that utilize the same biometric features.

    Watermarking techniques can be used effectively to protect the genuine ownership of biometric data, either to accept or reject. This thesis presents a proposal for a suitable and viable combination of a face recognition algorithm and a watermarking technique, namely a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) combination, that will ensure the authenticity of the data being transmitted in the face recognition system, which will then increase its level of security. The emphasis is on replay attack, which is recognizing and rejecting captured biometric data resubmitted into the system.

    The research begins with an analysis of biometric systems, with an emphasis on face recognition systems, and in particular with reference to the recorded threats on such systems. Biometric watermarking algorithms proposed by previous researchers within the face recognition environment are then studied, noting their proposed solutions to the said threats. This would then give a good idea towards a watermarking scheme to be proposed to enhance the security of face recognition systems, especially in terms of the authenticity of the data being transmitted.

    This proposed watermarking face recognition scheme is the main objective, which will be implemented in a PCA—DCT combination, followed by a check on all the 8 vulnerable positions where data may be captured and/or resubmitted. All the results produced are positive, apart from a few situations that will have to be left for future work. Non degradation of the individual PCA and DCT systems due to the combination is also checked and experimented on, again with positive results. Finally, the robustness of the watermarking scheme is experimented on to evaluate its resilience against attacks.

    The contributions from this research constitute a meaningful solution step to security problems associated with biometric techniques. The outcome of the research should also stimulate further research by opening up more research gaps in the area of combining biometric and watermarking techniques.
    Date of AwardAug 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSalem Aljareh (Supervisor)

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