Hackers successfully reproduce fingerprint of German Defense minister using public photos

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 29 Dec 2014


At the 31st annual conference of the Chaos Computer Club in Hamburg, Germany, Jan Krissler a.k.a “Starbug” revealed that he has managed to replicate the thumbprint of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen by only using some close-range photos captured from multiple angles.

He used the popular software VeriFinger to create the fake fingerprint using multiple images, including a close-up image of her thumb shot during a conference in September. He did not even require the Defense Minister’s original fingerprint or used any object that carried her fingerprint to create its replica.

Krissler has long been advocating the weakness of biometric security systems that rely on fingerprint, facial unlock, or iris scan. He strongly believes that passwords are far more secure than relying on biometric security systems, which are gaining popularity and are getting increasingly common nowadays. As an example, he demonstrated how he could use his fake fingerprint to unlock his iPhone — that features a ‘Touch ID’ fingerprint sensor integrated into its home button.

In 2008, Krissler had successfully managed to replicate the fingerprint of Wolfgang Schäuble, then interior minister and the current Finance Minister of Germany.

In the past, the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor has been fooled into unlocking the device by simply using a photograph of the original fingerprint.

Even though Krissler has managed to prove that fingerprint sensors are not as secure as traditional passwords, there is no denying the fact that the former offers a more convenient form of security compared to the latter.

[Via DW]