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Inkjet printer fools smartphone fingerprint scanner into unlocking the device

Posted: , by Alan F.

Inkjet printer fools smartphone fingerprint scanner into unlocking the device
There is a way to break into a phone protected by a fingerprint scanner using an inkjet printer, and a special type of ink that works with it. The ink, made by a company called AgIC, has conductive properties. Also required is special paper that is used by 'Do It Yourselfers' to produce homemade circuit boards.

One of the hardest to obtain pieces of the puzzle required to pull this off, is a good quality fingerprint of the device's owner. This needs to be a print that is registered on the device you are looking to unlock. The image of the fingerprint is then scanned into a PC. Keep in mind that this must be done with the image reversed so that when you print it, the fingerprint comes out looking "normal."

Take your inkjet printer with the special AgIC produced ink cartridge in place. Print the scanned fingerprint image on to the special glossy AgIC paper. You must use a setting of 200 dpi, making sure that the size of the print equals the size of a real fingerprint. The resulting image of the fingerprint can be used to trick the scanner into unlocking the device, allowing you to gain entry to certain smartphones.

Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the honor 7 have been unlocked by tricking the fingerprint scanner with this method. This method will work on other fingerprint readers as well. The fingerprint "spoof" was discovered by Michigan State University, and you can check it out in action by clicking on the video below.



source:  MSU via RedmondPie

25 Comments
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posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:04 9

1. Rydsmith (Posts: 538; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


FBI no longer seeks special version of iOS. Now asks Americans to register their finger prints at the local police department.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:41 2

3. WPX00 (Posts: 347; Member since: 15 Aug 2015)


They dont need to - law enforcement CAN, legally, get you to unlock your phone if its protected with fingerprint. Its the passcode that they cant get you to hand over. Despite the minor wrinkle, great joke though.

Boy I'm fun at parties.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:42 4

5. WPX00 (Posts: 347; Member since: 15 Aug 2015)


By the way, to note, remember iPhone asks for your passcode upon boot, not fingerprint.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 19:08 3

10. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4452; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


My Nexus 6p requires either a pin or pattern on boot if you use the fingerprint scanner for unlock. It also requires it if you pull the device off a charger and if it sits for I believe four hours with no activity.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 19:25 2

13. AlikMalix (Posts: 6286; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


It also ask you for passcode if wasn't unlocked for 48 hours. And it will limit the frequency higher and higher with every erroneous attempt. And you can completely block any attempt in seconds from another internet device.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 23:02

18. RoboticEngi (Posts: 790; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)


As does samsung phones with 6.0...........

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 19:06 1

9. kevin91202 (Posts: 584; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)


Is this the well-known Global Police Force, or is it restricted to just 'merica?

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:42

4. AlikMalix (Posts: 6286; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Just shut down the phone before handing it over to the police.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 19:09 1

11. ibend (Posts: 5080; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


didnt they already registered their FP when they make national IDcard?

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 19:20 3

12. AlikMalix (Posts: 6286; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


What's a national ID card?

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 00:58

24. roscuthiii (Posts: 2226; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Beats me... I guess maybe a passport comes close. Or, maybe military ID.

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 07:54

27. drifter77 (Posts: 223; Member since: 12 Jun 2015)


It's the equivalent to social security number in some countries.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:39 2

2. dancheung77 (Posts: 197; Member since: 28 Jan 2015)


Now what about iphone and xperia?

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:43

6. AlikMalix (Posts: 6286; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


I'm assuming that it should work!

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:50

8. dancheung77 (Posts: 197; Member since: 28 Jan 2015)


Damn, that's not good

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 18:50

7. dancheung77 (Posts: 197; Member since: 28 Jan 2015)


Damn,

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 19:37 1

14. lyndon420 (Posts: 4556; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Kinda figured this would happen before too long. Iris scanning is likely the only way to go now because I doubt anyone has scaled down the tech for scanning the blood vessels in your hand/palm.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 21:28 1

15. romeo1 (Posts: 720; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


Like nobody knew that fingerprints aren't as secure as a "good" password.
But it's good ebough for at least 90% of the world and it's "cool" to have for the kids

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 22:07

17. saif2711 (Posts: 69; Member since: 22 Feb 2016)


iPhone not shown so it means it's really safe??

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 23:21 1

20. BobbyBaster (banned) (Posts: 28; Member since: 07 Mar 2016)


Yes iPhone is highly secured compared to lagdroid. Lagdroid lagging on security as well ROFL!

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 09:49

28. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4452; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Hey you forgot the d at the end of your name.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 23:06

19. RoboticEngi (Posts: 790; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)


It is extremely funny though. What are the chances a thief will have your fingerprints together with you phone? They are very small, so let them have these printers, gummibears etc. they still need my fingerprint too....And before they have set up their little lab, I have wiped/locked down the phone......

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:16

29. Plutonium239 (Posts: 1059; Member since: 17 Mar 2015)


What do you leave on your device by holding it and using it? Oh, that's right, your finger prints.

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 00:11

22. MacWiNux (Posts: 119; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


reminds me mythbusters when they try to crack fingerprint sensors

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 02:06

26. xondk (Posts: 1588; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Video doesn't really have me entirely convinced, though that said it does make sense that they can't be as secure as the full sized with humidity and everything else to safeguard.

But he needs to show using a finger that isn't the one needed to unlock, right there he's using left index finger which is also the one needed for unlock.

That said the fingerprint scanner's are probably never going to be 'safe' from tampering, no safety measure is, the main point is to make it difficult, and getting a good fingerprint and similar is quite difficult, and you can't really brute force a fingerprint scanner, at least not effectively yet, because its a physical 'key' where a password and pin code is not physical but entirely software based, so it can be brute forced easily, so finger prints are still quite a bit more secure then pin/passcodes/draw patterns

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