Biometric Security Flaws

November 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

Some of you Apple fans out there may have already purchased the iPhone 5S. Some of you may think that the Touch Id fingerprint scanner is a great and secure feature. Apple claimed it was very secure, and it took a long three days before someone was able to hack it. Many believed that these identity based technologies were going to be far more secure than knowledge based securities such as passwords and pin numbers, but is that really the case?

The technology to scan a fingerprint is just one of many different ways to use your body as security authentication. This is termed biometrics and it utilizes any measurable physical characteristic that can be automatically checked. There are scanners out there for your face, hand geometry, retina, iris, hand written signature, vein, and voice. What is the problem if all of these characteristics are basically unique to you? That is exactly the problem. There is no way to change any of these if they become compromised and they can become compromised.

You only have 10 fingers, and If someone gets this data and uses it gain access to financial information, you only have 9 passwords left. It is even worse for a retina pattern scanner. How do you get a new retina? Most of us have seen the spy movies where they gather a persons fingerprint and use it, but this is not limited to James Bond. The German hacking group CCC that broke the iPhone used inexpensive materials found in your home like glue, print toner, and transparent paper. The worst part is we leave our fingerprints everywhere including the device we are trying to protect.

This may not be a huge concern to you considering that most would not put that much effort into getting the average person’s information no matter how difficult or easy it may be. The problem may arise in your future when you become an important government official, upper management of a international company, or even a celebrity of your field. Someone may just want the information you keep on your phone bad enough to use the methods a simple Youtube search can provide.

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