Security researchers claimed to have cloned the thumbprint of the German Defense Minister by photographing her hand at a press conference.
In a presentation at the annual Chaos Computer Club hacker gathering in Hamburg, Germany, biometrics specialist Jan Krisller – known in the community as “Starbug” – explained how he’d taken a variety of photographs of Ursula von der Leyen when she gave a press briefing in October.
Krisller used a lens with a focal length of 200mm and shot the snaps from six feet away, he said. He then used commercial fingerprint software from Verifinger to map out the contours of the Minister’s thumbprint.
To get that into something that could be used on a biometric scanner, Krisller employed the same technique he demonstrated at the conference last year, where he successfully defeated Apple’s TouchID fingerprint lock. The technique, first used in the Gummi Bear attack of 2002, employs digital photographs, flexible materials, and laser printers to create false fingerprints.