Hardware Reference
In-Depth Information
Building a two-factor biometric system
With an independent processor on the CryptoCape, we can create some interesting applica-
tions. Since the ATmega cannot be flashed from the BeagleBone unless the physical jump-
ers are attached to the board, we can consider this to be a trusted processor. In this project,
we'll implement a biometric authentication system with a fingerprint sensor and the
CryptoCape. We'll use the ATmega to prevent access to the security ICs on the CryptoCape
until you have authenticated yourself to the ATmega with your fingerprint.
A notable example of fingerprint biometrics in consumer devices is Apple's Touch ID tech-
nology on the iPhone 5s. The sensor used on the iPhone is much more sophisticated and
expensive than the sensor we will use in this project. But by performing this project, you
should appreciate the capabilities and challenges of using biometric technologies. On the
Touch ID support page, Apple motivates the use of the technology with the argument that
unlocking the phone with your fingerprint is more secure than having no passcode and easi-
er than entering a code each time. In a later section, we'll discuss the weakness of biometric
The major components needed for this project are listed in the following table. The
SparkFun parts are listed as they were the ones used, but feel free to substitute equivalent
components. The CryptoCape, which is only manufactured by SparkFun Electronics, is
open source hardware and the board design files are licensed under a Creative Commons li-
cense, so you could also make your own CryptoCape if you wish. You will also need a ba-
sic soldering station and appropriate accessories.
SparkFun SKU
Fingerprint sensor
JST jumper wire assembly PRT-10359
Female jumper wires
Male breakaway headers PRT-00116
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