Gummi bears defeat fingerprints sensors

Thursday, 16 May 2002, 2:47 PM EST

A Japanese cryptographer has demonstrated how fingerprint recognition devices can be fooled using a combination of low cunning, cheap kitchen supplies and a digital camera.

First Tsutomu Matsumoto used gelatine (as found in Gummi Bears and other sweets) and a plastic mould to create a fake finger, which he found fooled fingerprint detectors four times out of five.

Flushed with his success, he took latent fingerprints from a glass, which he enhanced with a cyanoacrylate adhesive (super-glue fumes) and photographed with a digital camera. Using PhotoShop, he improved the contrast of the image and printed the fingerprint onto a transparency sheet.

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