Hacker Generates German Minister’s Fingerprints, Demonstrates Security Loopholes In Fingerprint Scanning

Fingerprint scanning has come a long way since its conception- right from being depicted by the best thing to ever happen to security in various sci-fi movies to now being used every day in our I-Phones.


Today fingerprint scanners are used all over the world to safeguard various things. Fingerprint passwords are said to be extremely efficient and safe, owing to the fact that every person in the world has a different print. Passwords and security questions and even voice controlled security can be tampered with to gain access, but fingerprint detection was said to be one of the safest methods to secure something. Well, up till now.

The Chaos Communication Congress, which recently took place in Germany, was a convention where security analysts and specialists flew in from all around the world to discuss and showcase their latest inventions and research in the field of information security. One member of the Congress demonstrated how it was now possible to attain the exact fingerprint information of any person from a mere image of their fingers. He then went on to show how he has achieved the correct fingerprint information of Ursula von der Leyen, a german minister.

The man behind this revolutionary discovery was Jan Krissler, or Starbug as he is referred to online. If a password or pin of an individual’s protected application gets stolen or hacked, it is incredibly easy to safeguard his or her essentials in the future with a simple password reset. However, if a fingerprint gets stolen, it is likely that the user may never be able to use fingerprint technology for security ever again.

The feat was carried out with a software known as VeriFinger, which uses several close-range images of the person to decipher their fingerprint. Being an ethical hacker, Jan wanted to demonstrate just how easy it is for hackers to find and gain access to people’s private information and belongings. The VeriFinger does not require any high-resolution camera to work with. A simple front-facing camera having a lens as low as three megapixels will do the job just fine. One of the pictures that Jan used to demonstrate was a picture that didn’t actually have a picture of Ursula’s hands. He used the reflection in her eyes to get an image of her fingers which he then reversed engineered to attain the fingerprint.

The field of biometrics has seen a significant growth in the past few years. Discerning face and body structures have become relatively straightforward owing to the different technologies that are being developed. With inventions like the VeriFinger, the question remains whether or not we’ll be able to keep anything private in the future. Passwords are hackable and fingerprints can now be generated.

In the past, hackers could get information on just about anyone through the dark web. Passwords were hackable with something as easy as brute forcing. In any case, a person’s information has already been compromised just because they might have their records or information, however, abstract it may be, somewhere on the surface web.

There’s no doubt that this discovery is remarkable in the field of information security, but the question remains, were we ever really secure in the first place?


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