German hackers create spoof fingerprint from high-res image
02 January 2015 10:03 GMT

Krissler had taken a photo of Leyen’s thumb from a distance of three meters

German research group the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has demonstrated a technique that it claims can take fingerprint data from high-definition photos taken at distance.

CCC biometrics researcher Jan Krissler says he replicated the fingerprint of German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen using pictures taken with a "standard photo camera".

The group says the method would make it possible to foil biometric fingerprint security by using nothing but commercial software and a couple of high resolution photos.

"After this talk, politicians will presumably wear gloves when talking in public," Starbug told the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) conference.

Krissler had taken a photo of Leyen’s thumb from a distance of three meters, with several other pictures of her thumb taken at different times. He then used a program called Verifinger to recreate the print.

The Chaos Computer Club from Germany was the first to spoof Apple’s Touch ID sensor in September 2013, and has been involved in similar biometric attacks on different fingerprint sensors going back to at least 2004.

There are a number of technologies, both software and hardware, that can be used to detect spoofing attacks. The international community is addressing this emerging area of technology through an ISO/IEC standards project to develop data interchange formats and testing principles for software and hardware used to combat biometric spoofing (called “spoof detection” or “presentation attack detection”).