Efficient known-sample attack for distance-preserving hashing biometric template protection schemes

Yenlung Lai, Zhe Jin, Koksheik Wong, Massimo Tistarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid deployment of biometric authentication systems raises concern over user privacy and security. A biometric template protection scheme emerges as a solution to protect individual biometric templates stored in a database. Among all available protection schemes, a template protection scheme that relies on distance-preserving hashing has received much attention due to its simplicity and efficiency in offering privacy protection while archiving decent authentication performance. In this work, we introduce an efficient attack called known sample attack and demonstrate that most state-of-art template protection schemes that utilize distance-preserving hashing can be compromised in practice (within few seconds), especially when the output is significantly smaller than the original input sample size. These findings further motivated our subsequent work in proposing a secure authentication mechanism to resist such an attack with proper study over the distribution of the input samples. Furthermore, we conducted revocability, unlinkability analysis to demonstrate the satisfactory of general biometric template protection requirements; and showed the resistance of various security and privacy attacks, i.e., false acceptance attack, and attack via record multiplicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3170-3185
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biometric
  • known-Sample attack
  • secure authentication

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