Now no more fight with Apple or any smartphone maker, as federal authorities have discovered a new tool for unlocking phones, as far as your phone is using any biometric sensor…
Yes, Police in Michigan is considering 3D printing a dead man’s fingers so they could unlock smartphones in investigation crimes using their biometric sensors.
A new report published today from Flash Forward creator Rose Eveleth revealed that the police recently approached professors at the University of Michigan to reproduce a dead man’s fingerprint from a prerecorded scan.
Once reproduced, the 3D print would be used to create a false fingerprint of the dead man, which could then be used to unlock his smartphone using its biometric sensors.
The man was a murder victim, and law enforcement investigators believed that his phone might contain some useful information relevant to the case.
Why Police Can’t 3D-Print Themselves? Because…
Since smartphone biometric sensors used to detect someone’s fingerprints today rely on electrical currents that most 3D-printed objects can not conduct, such technique would not normally work and help investigators get into the victim’s phone.
This, in turn, made the police approach professor Anil Jain, who told Fusion that he "coated the 3D printed fingers in a thin layer of metallic particles" so that they could conduct electricity and "the fingerprint scanner can read them," helping the police catch the murderer.
Sounds great… Right?
But that will not always be the case.
When thinking about its implications and consequences in future, this technique could make everyone vulnerable who uses biometric security to protect the privacy of their smartphones.
Since fingerprints are the unique and all time the constant identity of a person, there is a risk of having someone steal a fingerprint using a high-resolution photo and recreating it that way.
Since the investigation is ongoing, much details about the technique are not available.
The best solution, for now, is to disable any biometric sensor enabled on your smartphone, just in case you don’t want the police or anyone else to 3D print a replica of your fingers and unlock it with ease. Rather set a secure password to lock your device.
Remember: You can change your passwords if it is stolen, but you cannot change your fingerprints.