Effect of Smaller Fingerprint Sensors on the Security of Fingerprint Authentication

Jae Yeol Jeong, Ik Rae Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Small fingerprint sensors are necessary to be used in the small devices like smartphones, USBs, and cards. Different small devices have different sizes of fingerprint sensors. The scanned fingerprint image through a small fingerprint sensor is a partial fingerprint image instead of a whole fingerprint image, if we use a small fingerprint sensor. If the size of the partial fingerprints stored in the database decreases, the number of minutiae that are compared when matching decreases. Unfortunately, for the small number of minutiae, it is possible to construct 'Masterprints'. Masterprints can be used to impersonate multiple users stored in the database. If the size of a partial image is 15 % of a whole image, a Masterprint can be produced. We investigate the vulnerability of various sizes of partial images due to the Masterprint. Because sensors have different sizes, we use partial images of 9% to 48% of a whole image. Our results show that the security of partial fingerprint authentication is severely affected by the sizes of partial images and sensors. The smaller the partial image size, the larger the impostor matching rate; and the smaller the false matching rates, the steeper the impostor matching rate increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97944-97951
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education under Grant 2022R1I1A1A01068594.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • authentication
  • Fingerprint
  • Masterprint
  • partial images
  • sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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