Biometrics “bio-hacked”

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fingerprint-scanner

A hacker belonging to the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) revealed at a convention in Hamburg that it is possible, to forge fingerprints using photographs.


As reported by the BBC, the hacker was apparently able to replicate a fingerprint, in this case of German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, using photos taken with a “standard photo camera”.

Fingerprints aren’t generally considered an incredibly secure form of authentication but neither have they been “hacked” in this way before.


“Multiple layers…”


I asked Mark James what he thought of this hack and of biometric security in general.

“To be honest any method that is not purely password reliant has to be a move in the right direction.

“Are biometrics secure enough on their own? No. Is it a great backup to go with 2 factor authentication? Yes definitely.”

Mark adds that “no single form of security will ever be completely secure so using multiple layers will be the key to protecting our data.”


“Breakthroughs regarding biometrics…”


Mark explains that “we expect our data to be safe and have to realise we need to take multiple steps to make that so: in terms of 2FA, Passwords and some form of biometrics would work very well.

“Of course some will complain it’s too complicated but sadly it has to be done these days to protect our most private information.

“There have been some breakthroughs regarding biometrics that check to see if you’re actually alive, or if the finger is still attached, which will get around such tactics as photos of fingerprints being used.

“But whatever process we choose there will always be someone who has or is attempting to circumvent the procedure or beat the system. Sadly that’s the nature of security, not all of these are bad, they enable us to develop our security further and promote new ways to secure our data.”


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Do you use biometrics regularly? Do you use them as part of a 2FA solution or on their own?