Chaos Computer Club Says They Can Hack Your Fingerprint

Chaos Computer Club Says They Can Hack Your Fingerprint

Right now in Hamburg, Germany, the largest European hacker association, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), is holding its 31st annual congress that’s a four-day fest of all things hacking. Other than having a pretty rad name, CCC is well-known for detailing all the crazy (and sometimes scary) shit they can do. They have just added another one to the list.

On Saturday, security researcher and biometrics expert Jan Krissler, known as Starbug, detailed in an hour-long presentation (German) how he recreated German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen’s fingerprints using only a “standard photo camera” and publicly available software called VeriFinger.

After obtaining a high-res image of von der Leyen’s thumb during a press conference, and securing other photos taken from different angles, Krissler was able to reconstruct an accurate thumbprint using VeriFinger. CCC says the recreation can fool fingerprint-based security systems.

As VentureBeat points out, this doesn’t completely denounce biometrics as a reliable form of security, but it does show a pretty big hole that can be exploited and really only stresses that fingerprint security, Touch ID or otherwise, should only be one layer to your secure digital life.

Regardless, Krissler does seem to have at least some advice for our world’s leaders — wear gloves.

Image via Marko Poplasen/Shutterstock