Your selfies could expose you to identity theft

Your selfies could expose you to identity theft

Remember the "Let's Enhance" TV trope that allowed the main characters from the CSI series to identify criminals? That technique is still considered as absurd and improbable, but a Japanese researcher now claims that the advanced cameras of modern handsets are capable of capturing a fingerprint accurately enough for someone to steal it. 

In an interview with Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, Isao Echizen, a professor at the Japanese National Institute of Informatics reported that he successfully acquired fingerprints from images containing exposed fingers taken from up to three metres (10 feet) away. He specifically warned against posing for selfies with the peace sign, as this is a trend that has been very popular in the East Asian country for quite some time.

The professor also announced that his team at the National Institute of Informatics has developed a fingerprint anti-theft prevention technology, which uses a substance based on titanium-oxide to cover up or even produce fake images of any fingerprints, captured in photos.

While such malicious techniques might still be a little too modern and not used on a large scale, professor Echizen warns that the uniqueness of fingerprints and retinas could become the Achilles' heel of modern biometric authentication methods.

via CNET

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10 Comments

1. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

acquired detailed fingerprint pattern from 3meters away using a photo from front camera? it must be a great camera TBH :D combined with great post-processing algorithm to extract that fingerprint... btw, iris scanner is much dangerous since it's easier to get iris image, since it always shown on almost all selfies... (even if we don't have tech to make fake iris right now, someday scientist will make it happens, lol)

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"acquired detailed fingerprint pattern from 3meters away using a photo from front camera? it must be a great camera TBH :D" My tgoughts as well... The selfie camera used must be of high resolution, to begin with. Not sure how the great processing algorithm will achieved that.

3. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"great processing algorithm"... or perhaps magical post-processing... just like indentifying face of someone at backseat of a speeding car 200meters away from camera extracted from 240p/12fps CCTV footage from 1980s

5. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

On the contrary, I thought identity theft, before reading the entire thing, was going to be based on facial recognition... Disappointed.

7. cmdacos

Posts: 3818; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Certainly not #shotonaniphone lol

10. Brewski

Posts: 661; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Did you look at the photo in the article? It's using the rear camera, much better resolution. I don't take selfies but I do take pictures of other people and 99% of the time use the rear camera.

4. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

"He specifically warned against posing for selfies with the peace sign..." Middle finger it is!

6. lyndon420

Posts: 6452; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

We don't need biometric scanners despite what the elite would have us believe. Passwords are the best, and they don't show up in our pictures.

8. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

LOL I don't know if phone Arena added this or it was the professor who said it. But is impossible to use a photo of the iris to fake bioauthentication. Maybe fingerprints but even then the camera and post processing may not give much accuracy. Of course he's selling something so go figure.

9. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1297; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

This article does not indicate what camera was used to capture said fingerprints. Maybe they used a $5000 DSLR with 50 megapixel resolution and zoomed in using the 20x optical zoom.

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