Integrated Fingerprint Reader

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IBM Integrated Fingerprint Reader

Integrated Fingerprint Reader

IBMs second generation of T42 models (released in Autumn 2004) was the first to feature an integrated fingerprint reader. Various models since then have had this feature, actually implemented with a number of different devices, all of which appear on the USB bus. Some are just scanners, others do the recognition in the device itself.

USB ID Reader Software
0483:2016 UPEK/Thomson thinkfinger or fprint
147e:1000 UPEK TCS4C unsupported ??
147e:2016 Upeksonly fprint patches
08ff:1600 Authentec AES1610 fprint
08ff:2580 Authentec AES2501 fprint
08ff:2810 Authentec 2810 unsupported

Read more about the various models of reader on the libfprint wiki

The UPEK device is supported by thinkfinger. Those devices and Authentec ones are supported by libfprint.

However: The fingerprint reader is an INSECURE device and gives a false sense of security! There has been quite a bit of research by a hacker named Starbug, a member of the Chaos Computer Club, Berlin, Germany. He outlined in two very good talks how to forge each and every available fingerprint sensor available at the cost of a few euros, using materials from your local hardware store, a digicam and a laser printer! Here's some links:

Remember, using fingerprints for authentication is much similar to having a password which is written on anything you touch.

Free Software

fprint

For some time various projects provided support for various readers. That work mostly been unified under the fprint library, and thus libfprint and libpam-fprint (which provides authentication via PAM) are the best way to go, and in the meantime included by default in most Linux distributions. However, it seems that lately this project has stalled, and no support for newer chips has emerged for some time.

Thinkfinger

Alternatively, the original Thinkfinger project is at http://thinkfinger.sourceforge.net. It only provides support for the 1st generation reader, and has not been updated since 2007; see the How to enable the fingerprint reader with ThinkFinger for detailed instructions. It is also in Debian Lenny. This integrates seamlessly with PAM and doesn't produce a tacky graphical prompt.

Hint:
If you've followed the instructions and "tf-tool --verify" works, but nothing else does, make sure that the "uinput" module is loaded.

Fingerprint GUI

Feb 2011: The following works as smoothly on Ubuntu and T410s: https://launchpad.net/~fingerprint/+archive/fingerprint-gui

Binary Only

A closed source driver for the UPEK device is available. It interfaces to the hardware as a user-space USB driver through /proc/bus/usb and provides a BioAPI 1.10 device, which can then be interfaced to pam for authentication by user programs. The driver can be downloaded from http://www.upek.com/support/downloads/linux/; see the corresponding HOWTO for detailed instructions. It however tends to be less stable than the above opensource drivers.


Related Links

Models featuring this Technology

UPEK Touchstrip (model?) - USB 0483:2016

UPEK Touchchip TCS4C - USB 147e:1000

UPEK Touchstrip TCRD4C - USB 147e:2016

Authentec AES1610 - USB 08ff:1600

  • Lenovo V100, V200

Authentec AES2501 - USB 08ff:2580

  • Lenovo N100, N200

Authentec AES2810 - USB 08ff:2810