Date of Award

5-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Computer Engineering

Advisor

Sander, Sam

Abstract

Migration from password and token-based authentication in distributed systems requires fundamental changes to the authentication process. A person's biometric data is not a secret, which presents a fundamental difference with other authentication methods. Matching a sample with a database template is secondary to establishing trust in the integrity of the sample. The process is similar to establishing a chain of custody for judicial evidence. In computer systems this is accomplished using attestation architectures. In this paper, a design for a secure remote biometric login system based on an attestation architecture is analyzed. The system uses a commercially available Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to authenticate the platform during the boot process and perform trusted private-key functions to participate in a challenge/response between the client and a remote biometric matcher. The result is a system that can provide higher assurance than current systems in an economically and administratively feasible system.

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