Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 5-7-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Computer Science


Xunhua Wang

Ralph Grove

Brett Tjaden


In response to user demands for mobile data security and maximum ease of use, fingerprint-secured mobile storage devices have been increasingly available for purchase. A fingerprint-secured Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive looks like a regular USB drive, except that it has an integrated optical scanner. When a fingerprint-secured USB drive is plugged into a computer running Windows, a program on this drive will run automatically to ask for fingerprint authentication. (When the program runs the very first time, it will ask for fingerprint enrollment). After a successful fingerprint authentication, a new private drive (for example, drive G:) will appear and data stored on the private drive can be accessed. This private drive will not appear if the fingerprint authentication fails. This thesis studies the security of a representative fingerprint-secured USB drive referred to by the pseudonym AliceDrive. Our results are two fold. First, through black-box reverse engineering and manipulation of binary code in a DLL, we bypassed AliceDrive’s fingerprint authentication and accessed the private drive without actually presenting a valid fingerprint. Our attack is a class attack in that the modified DLL can be distributed to any naive user to bypass AliceDevice’s fingerprint authentication. Second, in our security analysis of AliceDrive, we recovered fingerprint reference templates from memory, which may make AliceDrive worse than a regular USB drive: when Alice loses her fingerprint-secured USB drive, she does not only lose her data, she also loses her fingerprints, which are difficult to recover as Alice’s fingerprints do not change much over a long period of time. In this thesis, we also explore details in integrating fuzzy vault schemes to enhance the security of AliceDrive.



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