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How to Encode a Secret Message in a Fingerprint


Embedding information into a fingerprint.

Researchers in China have described a way to use fingerprints to encode secret messages.

Credit: Shutterstock

Researchers at Fudan University in China have developed a method for constructing digital fingerprints that encode secret messages into the spiral points on the prints.

The technique involves first encoding the desired message into a polynomial equation; certain features of fingerprints, such as ridges and bifurcation patterns, can then be used to encode the message, based on their directionality. The secret message can then be mapped out in a series of two-dimensional (2D) points with different polarities.

After the message is inscribed in a series of 2D points around the spirals, the continuous lines of the fingerprint are synthetically created; all the data is combined to create a hologram of the fingerprint, which maintains polarity and location of data points and protects the message.

Fudan University's Sheng Li said the new method produces "relative high data extraction accuracy even if the constructed fingerprint image is binarized, thinned, or severely compressed."

From IEEE Spectrum
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