Inkjet printer fools smartphone fingerprint scanner into unlocking the device

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



1. Rydsmith unregistered

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

3. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 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.

5. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

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

10. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 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.

13. AlikMalix unregistered

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.

18. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

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

9. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

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

4. AlikMalix unregistered

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

11. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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

12. AlikMalix unregistered

What's a national ID card?

24. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

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

27. drifter77

Posts: 401; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

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

2. dancheung77

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Now what about iphone and xperia?

6. AlikMalix unregistered

I'm assuming that it should work!

8. dancheung77

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Damn, that's not good

7. dancheung77

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 28, 2015


15. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 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

17. saif2711

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 22, 2016

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

20. BobbyBaster

Posts: 28; Member since: Mar 07, 2016

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

28. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

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

19. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 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......

29. Plutonium239

Posts: 1214; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

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

22. MacWiNux

Posts: 128; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

reminds me mythbusters when they try to crack fingerprint sensors

26. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 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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