Could your own fingerprint be hacked? Jan Krissler, a hacker in Berlin Germany claims to have done it. Krissler points to pictures of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, taken with a standard camera by a photographer from about 10 feet away. He says he was able to zero in on her fingerprints and reproduce them using readily-available software. Days after the finger-scanning iPhone 5S was released, he successfully unlocked a phone at a hacker’s conference by recreating a dummy finger using glue to make a mold from a photographed fingerprint. With millions of tablets and smart phones letting you use a fingerprint in place of a password, the potential is real. There are serious flaws in biometric security using fingerprints, and are even less secure than passwords because, once they’re stolen, they can’t be changed. “There’s a lot of things worth a lot of money. Information can be worth millions,” says security expert Kevin Mandia. Mandia says fingerprints should not replace passwords, but instead, be used as a second layer of protection. Still, celebrities may be in more danger than most of us. “It’s not a scalable attack against general people. This would be a much targeted thing. You have somebody, their photos are publicly available, they’re an important person, and the rewards outweigh the risks,” Mandia explains. But the risks are now great enough that cybersecurity and privacy were prominent at the 2015 consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. Some tech companies have created smart phones that scan users’ eyes. Hitachi is developing a scanner that identifies a person by the veins in their fingers.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.
While the BBB endeavors to provide accurate information to the public, changes in the law, facts or circumstances may have occurred since the foregoing was posted. The BBB recommends doing independent research and consulting professional advisors concerning a particular situation.