More fun with fingerprints

I have to admit that I’m a pretty big fan of CSI. Not the crappy new
CSI: Miami, but the original one. It gets Tivo’ed at my house all the time, as well as many CourtTV shows like Forensic Files.

The previous blog entry got me thinking about aquiring fingerprints clandestinely, and I thought about CSI. Often you see them place some fuming substance under a fume hood and it brings out fingerprints. I did a bit of digging, and found out that the fuming substance is cyanoacrylate glue, better known as Superglue. The fumes
interact with the fats and acids in fingerprints, and cling to them, resulting in
a white residue that is both permanent and can be easily photographed.

Using Matsumoto’s technique, one could probably construct fairly accurate forgeries of fingerprints, which is part of the reason why I detest these attempts
at biometrics.

If your interested in doing this yourself with minimal equipment, you can check out this link for the rather
simple instructions.

Fun with Fingerprint Readers

Bruce Schneier is the author of Applied Cryptography, the incredibly useful encylopedia of modern cryptographic algorithms. He also publishes the Cryptogram, an electronic
bulletin involving computer security, privacy and cryptography. Today I received the latest issue, which includes an article on fooling biometric fingerprint scanners. Tsutomu Matsumoto tried several techniques to create phony fingers that the fingerprint scanner would accept as real. Nifty!

Addendum: You can click here
for some slides that Matsumoto did detailing his work.