play-doh

Whenever discussing some new device that incorporates fingerprint scanning, we always make that stupid joke about how "now the crooks just need to cut off your finger to steal your ____." Well it turns out that criminals don't even need to go through the hassle of breaking out that hacksaw as long as they have some dental molding and Play-Doh handy. Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Stephanie Schuckers and her team at Clarkson University found that most scanning systems can be fooled 90% of the time by taking a mold of the mark's finger, filling the mold with Play-Doh, and using the fake digit to gain access. Don't go running out to Toys 'R Us just yet, though, as the Clarkson team also designed an algorithm that detects the spread of perspiration from the pores out to the ridges of a live person's finger, and is only foiled by the Play-Doh method 10% of the time. Still, until this new tech becomes more widespread, along with iris scans, facial and voice recognition, and implanted RFID verification, we're gonna continue keeping our cash under the mattress that we fiercely guard as we telecommute from atop it.

[Via The Raw Feed]

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Play-Doh fingers can fool 90% of scanners, sez Clarkson U. study