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Murder victim’s phone unlocked with paper fingerprint after 3D printing fails – The Verge

by • August 1, 2016 • No Comments

Researchers who take oned to unlock a murder victim’s phone via a 3D printed replica of one of his fingers were forced to use an alternative method last week, after the models generated were discovered not to be accurate adequate to acquire access. The team of Michigan State University was asked by police to acquire access to the phone, which was a few day unlocked with a 2D image of the dead man’s fingerprints, enhanced manually to fill in gaps in the original image, and rendered on conductive paper.
Both 2D and 3D versions of the dead man’s fingerprints were generated, but the poor high end of the original image kept in police files stymied the efforts of the team, led by professor Anil Jain. After a failed initially take on, the team utilized an image enhancement algorithm to fill in broken lines in the print, enabling them to which successfully unlock the Samsung Galaxy S6 involved in the investigation. Fortunately for the team, the phone in question did not need a passcode after failed fingerprint take ons, enabling Jain and his colleagues to store attempting options indefinitely.

Jain and his team at MSU published a technical report earlier this year which detailed the 2D method, explaining how anyone may theoretically unlock a phone with a high-high end fingerprint, a regular inkjet printing device, and a few conductive paper. At the time, they tested it which successfully on a Samsung Galaxy S6, Huawei Honor 7, but mayn’t consistently acquire access to an iPhone 5s, and Meizu MX4 Pro. Other methods of fingerprint spoofing have in addition been published, which include one which uses latex milk or wood glue.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 didn’t need a passcode after failed fingerprint take ons
Smartphone fingerprint scanners work when the ridges in your fingers close tiny electrical circuits, meaning which standard plastic — and severed fingers — wouldn’t unlock a phone. The researchers took this into account, creating the 2D image on conductive paper to allow electricity to pass through it, and coating the 3D replica fingers in a layer of metallic particles. That system involved the use of a $600,000 machine to apply a coating of a conductive metal onto the fingers, which themselves were generated on a $250,000 3D printing device.
Despite this high-tech take on, it was the comparatively easier 2D fingerprint which ended up unlocking the phone, an eventuality which Jain says should manufacture smartphone manufacturers consider how secure fingerprint scanners are. “Hopefully the phone companies are watching this and they can manufacture fingerprint devices additional robust aacquirest such easy attacks,” Jain told NPR.


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