Fingerprint Anti-Spoofing & Liveness Detection: How does it Work? (Video)

By 2020 almost six out of ten financial transactions are expected to be performed via biometric authentication, primarily via fingerprint sensors in mobile devices.

Courtesy of Precise Biometrics
Courtesy of Precise Biometrics

But identity theft and fraud is rampant and without any sufficient anti-spoof protection for fingerprint sensors, mobile commerce will be at risk.

Fingerprints are left on numerous surfaces and it is possible to readily acquire a latent fingerprint in under 60 seconds using a variety of known methods.

What is anti-spoofing and how does it operate with fingerprint technology?

Fingerprint Spoofing – a Known & Achievable Process

Fingerprint recognition is more often being used in mobile and desktop solutions to provide convenient and secure identity authentication.

But, today’s fingerprint sensors are vulnerable to spoofing via fake fingers.

The risk for fraud and spoofing via fake fingerprints poses a threat to sensitive applications like mobile payments.

Courtesy of Precise Biometrics
Courtesy of Precise Biometrics

A determined and thoughtful person can effectively steal another individual’s fingerprint identity via so called uncooperative spoofing.

Fingerprints are left on numerous surfaces and it is possible to readily acquire a latent fingerprint in under 60 seconds using a variety of known methods (e.g., lift tape, cyanoacrylate fuming, photography).

Once latent prints are captured and digitized, fingerprint molds and fake fingerprints are readily produced using household materials such as gelatin, latex paint and modeling clay.

Uncooperative Attack Process

  1. Lift latent print via tape, photo, or fuming
  2. Digitize image and create mold via acetate, PCB etching, or 3D printed mold
  3. Create spoofs
  4. Execute spoof attack

Solutions for Enhanced Security

(Fingerprint software with spoof and liveness detection prevent fraud using fake fingerprints in mobile payments. Courtesy of Precise Biometrics and YouTube)

Courtesy of Precise Biometrics
Courtesy of Precise Biometrics

Precise Biometrics’ solutions and services for mitigating spoof-related risks, such as fake fingers, are designed to protect fingerprint sensors and lower the risk for fraud.

Their spoof and liveness detection software further increases security of fingerprint authentication and our additional products and services improves the spoof detection capabilities of fingerprint technology.

The following products and services are available:

Spoof and liveness detection software

Precise Biometrics’ Spoof and liveness detection software identifies a fake fingerprint by analyzing several fundamental image differences between a live fingerprint image, and one from a spoof.

The benefits of having a software-based solution are:

(Courtesy of Precise Biometrics)
(Courtesy of Precise Biometrics)
  • Sensor technology agnostic – can be integrated with any fingerprint sensor on the market, whether it is in desktop or mobile environment
  • Easy integration – no additional hardware is needed, which makes it cost effective
  • Upgradeable – keeps pace with emerging spoof threats

Our software solution is based on machine learning (AI), which makes it adaptable to any form of spoofing.

The security level can be tailored to work with a specific hardware configuration.

(Courtesy of Precise Biometrics)
(Courtesy of Precise Biometrics)

Vulnerability analysis of fingerprint sensors 

Precise Biometrics offer Vulnerability analysis of fingerprint sensors, assessment of a given fingerprint sensor’s vulnerability to spoofing via spoof attacks, analysis and a subsequent comprehensive report.


(Courtesy of Precise Biometrics)
(Courtesy of Precise Biometrics)

Database Collection Services

Precise Biometrics also offers Database Collection Services, collection of live & spoof fingerprint images to create databases and to train algorithms to improve fingerprint matching or spoof and liveness detection.


(Courtesy of Precise Biometrics)

Fingerprint Spoof Lab

Precise Biometrics has a Fingerprint Spoof Lab, a time-saving turnkey kit for building spoof resistance in fingerprint sensors.

The kit contains guidelines and information about spoof creation, spoof specimens and lab supplies, as well as a user guide, for testing and evaluating sensor vulnerability.

Precise Biometrics’ White Paper

To learn more, see Precise Biometrics’ white paper “Spoof and liveness Detection for the Mobile Biometrics Market”, which is free to download here.

The White paper gives an easy-to-understand introduction to spoof and liveness detection; how a fingerprints spoof is done, current anti-spoofing solutions, and the standardization work to find ways to evaluate spoof detection.

The white paper also describes Precise Biometrics’ software solutions that provides an effective combination of fingerprint matching and anti-spoofing capability for mobile devices.

(Learn More from Precise Biometrics CEO Håkan Persson, as he is interviewed about the booming market development for fingerprint technology, the advent of new product areas and the challenges ahead. Courtesy of Precise Biometrics and YouTube)