Hacker copies fingerprint from a photograph Independent


Geek uses commercially available picture of a German minister to clone her biological data.
New techniques could allow hackers to copy fingerprints using only a photograph. Fingerprint technology is hoped to be one of a range of new forms of biometric security, but the discovery by a member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) shows even personal biological data might not be safe from hackers.
Jan Krissler, who is also known as Starbug, said that he had used commercially available photographs of German defence minister Usula von der Leyen.
While hackers have previously been able to copy fingerprints from any object with a polished surface, like a plate of glass or a smartphone, that had been touched, the discovery seems to mark the first time that such a hack has been done without even needing to steal objects carrying the data.
He demonstrated the technology at a convention for members of the CCC, a 31-year-old network that claims to be Europe's largest association of hackers.
Krissler took the photos from a press conference in Germany in October. He said that he presumed that politicians would wear gloves to stop use of similar technology by malicious hackers.
Fingerprint technology is already used to secure Apple and Samsung phones. It avoids the need for a password in most cases — making logging in much quicker and easier, but also giving anyone with the correct fingerprint the ability to access personal data and make purchases. The technology was even used to identify voters in Brazil's most recent elections. Similar technology that recognizes finger veins has been introduced by Barclays for business customers and at cash machines in Japan and Poland.
Global electronics company Hitachi, too, manufactures a device that reads the unique pattern of veins inside a finger and works only if the finger is attached to a living person.
In 2013, trials at Southampton General Hospital's intensive care unit indicated that vein patterns are not affected by fluctuations in blood pressure.

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