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How You Can Fool Fingerprint Scanners With Play-Doh

Because you know how much I love gadgets as well as the science that makes all of them work, I suspect you may be as interested as I am about spoofing, the art of getting around sophisticated tech safeguards.

You may have seen spoofing at the movies, when Tom Cruise's character in the movie Minority Report had one of his eyes replaced by back-street doctor to evade identification via an iris scan and stay one step ahead of the cops.

A Clarkson University professor found a decidedly low-tech solution for getting around fingerprint scanning that has nothing to do surgically altering your hands or severing someone else's digits: Making casts of live fingers made from dental materials and Play-Doh.

Based on a test of some 60 samples, the fake fingers fooled the fingerprint scanners 90 percent of the time. When devices were adjusted for the bogus digits' lack of perspiration, however, the spoofing rate dropped to less than 10 percent.

Along that same vein, stories like this one show you how easy it can be to work around technology -- think useless pills and medical procedures -- to arrive at simpler, safer and more natural solutions that can improve your health for a lifetime.

YubaNet.com December 10, 2005

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