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First United pilots ATM fingerprint authentication technology

11 May 2010  |  10085 views  |  2 biometrics - finger print

US bank First United is set to pilot fingerprint authentication technology from Hawk Systems at six ATMs in the New York met area.

According to its Web site, Delaware-based Hawk has a US process patent pending for its biometric ATM Touch & Go technology. The patent covers "using scanning five layers deep in the epidermal layer of the finger to authenticate a financial institution customer and permit an ATM transaction".

In what appears to be a first contract win, the firm says its software will now be installed at six First United cash machines and if successful, a roll out to the bank's entire fleet will follow.

Michael Diamant, CEO, Hawk Systems, says: "This is an exciting project for Hawk Systems and enables us to prove the commercial viability of our product in practical consumer oriented applications."

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 11 May, 2010, 15:32

I applaud the initiative but I would also point out that commercial grade fingerprint scanners are more easily hacked than military grade.  In my consulting to DHS on cybersecurity biometrics were a key autneticator.

What was concluded was that most commercial grade readers could be fooled by the use of a gelatin that captures the true fingerprint and is used to create a positive that is used on the reader.  The false positive rate was almost 100%.

BTW, the gelatin used is the same used for gummy bears so it was easily available, cheap and effective.

There are better out of band authenticators that are much more effective, almost impossible to hack, easier to deploy and much cheaper.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 13 May, 2010, 16:48

100% false positive is quite interesting to note because most studies citing shortcomings of fingerprint authentication point to true negatives where the genuine customers are rejected by the reader if their fingers are sweaty, have a cut, or for other trivial reasons. Accepting that it's easy to fool the reader using gelatine, won't it be difficult for an impostor to obtain the "true fingerprint" off of a genuine customer?

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