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Tricking Fingerprint Scanners With Gummi Bears

Last winter, I told you about a ridiculously low-tech solution for getting around fingerprint scanners: Creating casts of fingers made of Play-Doh. A Japanese cryptographer found another near foolproof material for making fake fingers: Gummi bears.

To prove his point, the scientist poured finger molds with the gelatin manufacturers use to make the sugary sweet candy. The fake digits fooled fingerprint scanners about 80 percent of the time, just not as often as Play-Doh did (90 percent).

The scientist took it one step further, however, highlighting a fingerprint from a glass, taking a digital image and manipulating it with Photoshop, then imprinting it on the fake gummi bear finger with a printed circuit board. That technique worked so well, experts have recommended fingerprint scanner makers start again from scratch...

If you try this experiment at home, just don't forget NOT to eat the gummi bears.

RealTechNews June 5, 2006

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