Researchers finding way to spoof fingerprint scanners

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 December, 2014, 6:10am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 December, 2014, 6:10am

Fingerprint scanners are becoming increasingly mainstream - they even come built-in many Apple devices.

But researchers are finding ways to spoof biometric ID methods, and they come with their own set of privacy and security drawbacks.

Biometrics researcher Jan Krisller demonstrated how he spoofed a politician's fingerprint using just a high-definition photo at a conference held by the Chaos Computer Club in Germany this past weekend. Krisller, who also goes by "Starbug", and the group previously showed off a way to spoof Apple's Touch ID system by creating a fake finger modelled off a fingerprint that had been left on a glass surface.

One key problem with biometrics is that they are permanent.

The much maligned password is less secure than using a unique biological marker to identify yourself, but it can be changed if it is leaked or compromised in some way.

Your fingerprints, on the other hand, are yours forever and are immutable.

Krisller shows data needed to fake the fingerprints can also be captured remotely without any direct contact.