Fingerprint scanners are touted as great features in smartphones as they add another layer of security but it has been demonstrated time and time again that fingerprint scanners are not foolproof. A new report reveals that police in Michigan approached faculty at the University of Michigan earlier this year to have them reproduce a murder victim’s fingerprint using 3D printing, which once made would enable them to use the false fingerprint to unlock the phone.
Details are limited about this as the investigating of the murder is still ongoing, Michigan Police has not officially confirmed if this technique was able to get them access to the murder victim’s phone.
The technique isn’t too different from what many security researchers have demonstrated in the past: that fingerprint molds can be created from scanned images to create fake fingerprints which can easily unlock devices secured with this biometric information.
It’s unclear at this point in time which phone is at the center of this murder investigation, whether it’s an iPhone or the plethora of Android devices that now come with fingerprint sensors either under the home button or at the back of the handset.
Apple did its bit back in May this year to mitigate the threat of fake fingerprints. Fingerprint logins now require an additional passcode if the phone has been left dormant for eight hours and if the passcode has not been entered over the past six days.