STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Millions of security systems, smartphones and tablets use a fingerprint instead of a password for security.
It’s supposed to be uncrackable, but it now appears fingerprint technology is easily hackable.READ MORE: Actor Peter Dante, Regular In Adam Sandler Movies, Accused Of Antisemitic Remarks In Recent Lawsuit
Photos – with clear views of hands and fingers – can now be used to re-create a fingerprint.
Jan Krissler, know to hackers as “Starbug,” did just that.
He says pictures of German Defense Minister Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen were taken with a standard camera from about 10 feet away; and he was then able to zero-in on her fingerprints and reproduce them using readily-available software.
“The whole security of the system relies on keeping something secret that isn’t secret,” he says.READ MORE: West Hills Stolen Motorcycle Suspect Identified As Ruben Contreras Jr.
Krissler has been exposing what he calls flaws in biometric security for years.
Days after the finger-scanning iPhone 5S was released, he successfully unlocked a phone by re-creating a “dummy finger” using glue to make a mold from a photocopied fingerprint.
Krissler says fingerprints are even less secure than standard passwords because once they’re stolen, they can’t be changed.
“This would be a very targeted thing,” security expert Kevin Mandia says. “You have somebody, their photos are publicly available, they’re an important person and the rewards outweigh the risks.”
There are other options. A company called ViewSonic is reportedly working on a new smartphone which scans users’ eyes to gain access.MORE NEWS: LA County Sees Another 72 Deaths Related To COVID-19
Until then, experts say it’s best to stick with the old-fashioned password, or to use it in addition to fingerprint technology.