Fingerprints can be reproduced from publicly available photos

Fingerprints can be reproduced from publicly available photos by Kif Leswing.

From the post:

At a conference in Hamberg Germany this weekend, biometrics researcher Jan Krisller demonstrated how he spoofed a politician’s fingerprint using photos taken by a “standard photo camera.”

Krissler speculated that politicians might even want to “wear gloves when talking in public.”

Krissler claims he isolated German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen’s fingerprint from high-resolution photos taken during a public appearance in October using commercially available software called VeriFinger.

I’m not sure that politicians have enough access to critical infrastructure for them to bother wearing gloves in public. 😉 Or at least they shouldn’t have that kind of access.

This isn’t an issue in Texas because the driver license bureau collects fingerprints from everyone who applies for or renews a drivers license. (Watchdog: Driver’s license centers snatch your fingerprints)

Fingerprints of bank tellers, network security experts, nuclear power plant operators, sysadmins and similar folks who have access to critical infrastructure. Much easier to call a friend at the DMV than trying to scrap a print from a photograph. Where does your state collect fingerprints?

The more worrisome aspect is that children aren’t reluctant to show their hands and touch things constantly in public. Anyone gathering children’s fingerprints under a variety of guises will eventually have a database of people who do have access to critical infrastructure.

That may sound like monitoring all the Web traffic in the world, something we would have laughed about a decade ago. No one is laughing about that now.

PS: What combination of factors will you require for identification?

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