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A Cheap 3D Printer Can Trick Smartphone Fingerprint Locks

A Cheap 3D Printer Can Trick Smartphone Fingerprint Locks

Written by David

April 26, 2020

It’s been nearly a decade since fingerprint sensors proliferated as a quick and easy unlocking mechanism for smartphones and laptops. Attacks to defeat these scanners have been around just as long, albeit impractical for all but the most motivated—and well-financed—hackers.


But new research shows that the equipment needed to reliably spoof fingerprints and break into devices has gotten dramatically cheaper. Researchers from Cisco Talos have achieved an 80 percent success rate on average defeating fingerprint scanners across a dozen devices. All it took was a 3D printer to crank out imposters, and a budget under $2,000. They stress that fingerprint locks still provide adequate protection against malicious attack for most needs, since their technique requires getting a copy of your fingerprint as well as physical access to your device. But even regular users should still consider potential law enforcement access requests when choosing a device lock—especially […]


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