Watch out for fingerprints: less secure than passwords, 5 dollars are enough to copy them

The unlocking with the fingerprint is a practical and safe way to access your electronic devices , and now it is the key to smartphones and laptops around the world, in all price ranges (not for iPhones, however, and their FaceID decidedly uncomfortable in times of pandemics and masks). Compared to the password or the pin, it has the advantage of skipping the tedious process of entering information, and also does not require a memory effort.

However, it is much easier to get a fingerprint than a password (as long as it’s good, and not “Goofy “or” juventus “as some of those most used in 2021). Kraken Security has released a video showing how simple it is to get it, with easy-to-find tools and a ludicrous economic investment of just $ 5.

The first step, of course, is obtaining the print. To do this, you do not need to look far: the prerequisite for a sure result is to have direct contact with the victim, clearly, in order to be able to take it from the objects it touches. The fingerprints are in fact passwords that we always carry around, and that we disseminate without realizing it a little everywhere.

Obviously the smartphones and laptops themselves are fingerprint receptacles, and at the height of the biometric sensors for unlocking it will be very easy to make sure you get the right one. But in reality it is possible to obtain a copy of the imprint also through a photo of the same and an appropriate use of Photoshop.



If the image of the print is clear from the start, then it will be child’s play, otherwise the thing becomes more complicated. Once you have finished retouching the file, you will need to print the result on an acetate sheet with a laser printer: the toner will thus allow you to obtain a three-dimensional replica.



The final step, as Giovanni Muciaccia taught in Art Attack, requires the vinyl glue, that from wood, to be poured over the printed copy of the impression and then let it dry. And in the end it will be enough to separate the tissue we obtained and voilĂ , the print is served.



The level of accuracy that can be reached with this trick is not enough to deceive the most complex biometric recognition systems, but it has a very good rate of effectiveness on consumer electronics products, since they are equipped with more inaccurate scanners. Moreover, the speed of unlocking is a fundamental requirement for users: the analysis of our fingerprint when we unlock the smartphone is in fact incomplete, and takes into account only some portions of which it verifies the correspondence in order to guarantee us a fluid experience.

In short, the finger goes so much to the smartphone that it leaves us a hand: the lesson to be learned is that there is no safer system than passwords, and that perhaps if we are in environments or situations where we fear for our privacy, then it is better to disable (at least temporarily) the possibility of authenticating on our devices via the fingerprint.


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