So Those Movies Aren’t Lying? You Can Actually Defeat Fingerprint Readers with Gummi Fingers

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By Lowell Heddings on August 18th, 2010

This is an old, old, old, post by security expert Bruce Schneier, but it’s interesting either way:

His more interesting experiment involves latent fingerprints. He takes a fingerprint left on a piece of glass, enhances it with a cyanoacrylate adhesive, and then photographs it with a digital camera. Using PhotoShop, he improves the contrast and prints the fingerprint onto a transparency sheet. Then, he takes a photo-sensitive printed-circuit board (PCB) and uses the fingerprint transparency to etch the fingerprint into the copper, making it three-dimensional. (You can find photo-sensitive PCBs, along with instructions for use, in most electronics hobby shops.) Finally, he makes a gelatin finger using the print on the PCB. This also fools fingerprint detectors about 80% of the time.

Crypto-Gram: May 15, 2002 [via HN]

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/18/10
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