Access – Peace Sign Pics Could Give Hackers Your Fingerprints

AccessBiometric Access – Finger Prints

Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics have claimed they can accurately copy fingerprints from digital photographs, raising fears that the access security of biometric authentication systems could be undermined.

Isao Echizen from the Institute told the Sankei Shimbun that his team was able to copy firngerprints based on photos taken from as far away as three metres, as long as they’re in focus and with strong lighting, AFP reported.

“Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available,” the researcher claimed.

He argued that anyone could do so—without the need for advanced technology.

Social media, especially in Asia, is filled with the images of individuals doing the two-fingered ‘peace’ sign, taken with the increasingly powerful digital cameras found on smartphones.

That could lead to fears over the security of fingerprint-based authentication systems, although it’s not clear how easy it would be to transfer a captured fingerprint into a form which could be used to authenticate.

Researchers famously ‘cracked’ Apple’s TouchID system in the iPhone 5 and 6 models, but the method required a laser-printed image of the fingerprint and then a convoluted process of creating a mould with pink latex milk or white wood glue.

The skill, patience and time needed to do so would deter most criminals.

However, some commentators said the research still serves a valuable purpose in highlighting the problem with static biometric identifiers.

Robert Capps, VP of business development at biometrics firm NuData Security, argued that humans leave fingerprint data behind on everything they touch, adding that researchers have also been able to use photographs to trick iris scanners.

“Once biometric data is stolen and resold on the Dark Web, the risk of inappropriate access to a user’s accounts and identity will persist for that person’s lifetime. As the most stringent of authentication verifications deploy physical biometrics, such as immigration and banking, physical biometric data will become very desirable to hackers,” he argued.

“We can expect more creative attempts by hackers to capture this information. The benefit of passive behavioural biometrics is that the information used to uniquely identify a user is passively collected and dynamically analyzed, and has an extremely limited shelf life of usefulness—making theft and successful reuse of raw behavioural signals nearly impossible.”

For consumers, another option would be to wait two years until the NII launches a new transparent film currently in development, which is designed to hide the wearer’s fingerprints.

Article Provded By: Info Security Magazine

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Biometric – MasterCard Will Put Selfies to Work for Authentication


MasterCard on Monday announced facial recognition and fingerprint technology that essentially would allow customers to take selfies to help authenticate their identity when engaged in mobile shopping.

The rollout, which is planned for this summer in the U.S., Canada and part of Europe, follows a pilot of biometrics by MasterCard and International Card Services with Dutch participants.

The 750 ABN AMRO cardholders who took part in the pilot were able to complete their purchases without PIN codes, passwords or confirmation codes, MasterCard said. 

Ninety percent of the participants said they preferred using biometric identification over passwords, and 75 percent said they believed biometric identification decreased fraud, the company said.

“The Dutch consumer is very progressive in embracing new technologies,” said Arjan Bol, country manager for MasterCard.

The company is looking into integrating the technology into apps for banking and technology companies to make it easier to use a selfie or fingerprint for authentication.

The announcement comes days after HSBC launched a biometric rollout designed to offer a higher level of mobile protection to 15 million customers in the U.K. by the summer.

The system will allow customers to access their mobile app and telephone banking accounts through voice and fingerprint technology.

It will be expanded to the U.S., France, Canada, Mexico and Hong Kong once those governments provide regulatory approvals for the system.

Facial Recognition and Fingerprints

MasterCard last year tested facial recognition and fingerprint scanning in the U.S. with First Tech Federal Credit Union.

Under that program, employees of the credit union used artificial money and biometrics to test whether cardholders can be authenticated using fingerprint scans on smartphones or facial photographs.

The program was scheduled to run in September and October with more than 200 credit union employees. Participants made virtual donations to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, with facial recognition and fingerprints authenticating their identity.

MasterCard and First Tech introduced the concept for that biometrics pilot at the White House Cyber Security Summit last year.

Customer Acceptance

Consumers will use the dual authentication system if they think it offers them more convenience, said Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

“I like the concept,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “If MasterCard can make it work quickly and unobtrusively at point of sale, then it should help drive mobile payments.”

Using two forms of authentication should drastically reduce false positives, where another person is confused with the consumer, and false negatives, where a person is unable to prove that he or she is the legitimate purchaser, Teich said.

The U.S. Global Entry system has been using a dual authentication system for about five years, he noted. Under the Customs and Border Protection program, people are authenticated using a combination of facial and fingerprint recognition and a passport optical scanner.

Financial institutions have faced challenges in the past over how to promote various payment options, while preserving security, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

“Traditional methods are not as successful as they might be, mainly because so many consumers opt for simplistic, easy-to-remember and -crack passwords,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “Given those challenges, MasterCard’s concept of using a selfie as a second authentication factor is highly intriguing.”

Biometrics Buzz

Biometrics “is a hot topic of discussion and demonstrations” at Mobile World Congress, said Susan Schreiner, an analyst at C4 Trends, who is attending the conference in Barcelona, Spain. Retina scans and fingerprint technology are “already here and working in smartphones like the iPhone.”

Mobile World Congress producer GSMA has been working with mobile operators on its Mobile Connect platform for mobile transaction authentication. “It’s simple and as easy as tying one’s mobile identity to one’s cellphone number,” she told the E-Commerce Times.

GSMA announced at the conference “that it had reached 2 billion users — and this is just the beginning,” Schreiner said. “As we look to simplify our digital lives, passwords will surely be replaced by the next great app.”

Article Provided By: TECHNEWSWORLD

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Biometrics and the future

BiometricsThe future of Biometrics

Most respondents to Security Systems News’ latest poll said they install biometrics solutions at least occasionally, and some readers raised concerns about the technology’s cost, false acceptance rate, and security of biometric data.

Biometric solutions have barriers to overcome, according to 45 percent of respondents. “Reliability (consistency) remains a concern and, speaking for what I’ve seen in my geographic area, there still seems to be a bit of reluctance from users to have their fingerprints ‘on file,’ as well as the issue of personal hygiene due to the physical touching of a device,” Rick Zies, senior account executive, security solutions, SIEMENS Building Technologies, wrote.

Another respondent said the biggest issue “is the need for a separate database for the biometric data.”

One reader said the need to safeguard biometric templates could hinder growth in the market. “As biometric information can not be changed, like passwords can, I see a reduction in biometrics. Once the information has been stolen, there is no way to get it back or change it.”

Sixty-seven percent of poll respondents install biometrics regularly or occasionally, while the remaining 33 percent said their company does not.

Twenty percent said biometrics are best used for high security applications.

“There’s plenty of interest in biometrics amongst the uneducated,” said Mike Wilson, commercial sales engineer with Vector Security. “When I share my experiences and the cost of these systems, my customers usually change their mind. Too bad, because the advantages of a reliable and cost-effective biometric solution would be many.”

Thirty-five percent predicted that biometrics will become more prevalent.

“I believe biometrics will become standard in the coming years, as pricing goes down on readers. Currently, we are using them only at high security applications but the idea of biometrics for access will eliminate the ‘I lost my card’ syndrome,” Warren Bujol, VP of corporate security for IBERIABANK, said.

Some respondents said that biometrics can save a company money. “As our society moves away from the need to have physical items like paper money and access cards that only drive cost, we are seeing a migration away from traditional forms of security to virtual forms,” one respondent wrote.

Almost half of respondents—47 percent—said facial recognition and iris scan technologies show promise for gaining ground in the market. “Facial rec is the most sophisticated and versatile biometric. It can be used for access control, threat alerts, concierge application in retail/hospitality, law enforcement,” said another reader.

Twenty-nine percent said fingerprint technologies will continue to be the most common biometric. Twenty-four percent said they expect other biometrics to rise or believe it’s too soon to tell which biometric technology emerge as the leader in the next couple of years.

Article Provided By: Security System News

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