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New and Improved Fingerprint Theft

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For all of us who thought fingerprint scanners were the ultimate in phone security, it turns out we were wrong. Researchers have found a way to hack your phone with an inkjet printer and 15 minutes of their time.

Michigan State University’s Kai Cao and Anil Jain have found a way to fool fingerprint scanners by scanning a fingerprint at 300 dpi then printing it on conductive AgIC paper with conductive silver ink.

This method has been proven to work on both Huawei Honor 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S6, though devices that use similar fingerprint scanning technology, such as the iPhone 5S and later, HTC One Max, Samsung Galaxy S5, S7, among others use the same technology and should be susceptible as well.

This is not the first time a fingerprint scanner has been hacked, though it is easier than the version released by Chaos Computer Club that involved thick toner, latex milk or wood glue and took about twice as long to pull off.

According to Cao and Jain, the purpose of their research was to bring awareness to flaws in fingerprint technology so manufacturers can fix them in the future.