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India turns to fingerprint biometric liveness to stem spoof attacks on Aadhaar payments

India turns to fingerprint biometric liveness to stem spoof attacks on Aadhaar payments

A new liveness detection feature for fingerprint authentications as part of the Aadhaar-enabled payment system to prevent people from successfully carrying out biometric spoof attacks as a method of theft, MediaNama reports.

The new feature has been added by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to protect withdrawals through the AePS system against fraud. An official is quoted as saying the update introduces the feature through software, which has been pushed out remotely to all devices used in biometric AePS authentication.

The supplier for the software has not been revealed.

A report from the Reserve Bank of India says that during fiscal 2022, AePS was used for 1.11 billion cash withdrawals totalling just under 3 trillion Indian rupees (approximately US$37.5 billion). A government official pegged this at less than 0.005 percent, but also expressed a desire to eliminate fraud from the system entirely.

A gang of thieves was recently arrested for cloning the fingerprint biometrics of poor farmers to defraud them out of money through the AePS.

The UIDAI, meanwhile, has been encouraging government agencies to replace the use of physical ID documents with biometrics to further reduce the leakage of funds from government benefit schemes.

Pakistan similarly turned to fingerprint biometric liveness checks to cut down on presentation attacks at the tail-end of 2021.

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