THRIVE: threshold homomorphic encryption based secure and privacy preserving biometric verification system




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing



Peer reviewed



In this paper, we introduce a new biometric verification and template protection system which we call THRIVE. The system includes novel enrollment and authentication protocols based on threshold homomorphic encryption where a private key is shared between a user and a verifier. In the THRIVE system, only encrypted binary biometric templates are stored in a database and verification is performed via homomorphically randomized templates, thus, original templates are never revealed during authentication. Due to the underlying threshold homomorphic encryption scheme, a malicious database owner cannot perform full decryption on encrypted templates of the users in the database. In addition, security of the THRIVE system is enhanced using a two-factor authentication scheme involving user’s private key and biometric data. Using simulation-based techniques, the proposed system is proven secure in the malicious model. The proposed system is suitable for applications where the user does not want to reveal her biometrics to the verifier in plain form, but needs to prove her identity by using biometrics. The system can be used with any biometric modality where a feature extraction method yields a fixed size binary template and a query template is verified when its Hamming distance to the database template is less than a threshold. The overall connection time for the proposed THRIVE system is estimated to be 336 ms on average for 256-bit biometric templates on a desktop PC running with quad core 3.2 GHz CPUs at 10 Mbit/s up/down link connection speed. Consequently, the proposed system can be efficiently used in real-life applications.


open access article


Biometric, Security, Privacy, Cryptography, Homomorphic encryption, Malicious attacks


Karabat, C. et al. (2015) THRIVE: threshold homomorphic encryption based secure and privacy preserving biometric verification system. EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing, 71


Research Institute