October 31st, 2014

The Science of fingerprints and Security Engineering

I found a couple interesting books linked from schneier.com that are online and available for free. The first is Security Engineering, a Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems with a forward by Bruce Schneier. You can download it in chapters, or you can find the whole book in torrent form here.

The second book is The Science of fingerprints. It was written by the FBI in 1963. Its introduction is by J. Edgar Hoover and the book is available on Project Gutenburg. Another site (posted in the comments) had some interesting links on fingerprints and current technology and also a document on the official Interpol “Method For Fingerprint Identification”.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction by J. Edgar Hoover:

This booklet concerning the study of fingerprints has been prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the use of interested law enforcement officers and agencies, particularly those which may be contemplating the inauguration of fingerprint identification files. It is based on many years’ experience in fingerprint identification work out of which has developed the largest collection of classified fingerprints in the world. Inasmuch as this publication may serve as a general reference on classification and other phases of fingerprint identification work, the systems utilized in the Identification Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are set forth fully. The problem of pattern interpretation, in particular, is discussed in detail.

Here is a partial diagram from the science of fingerprints

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