Research Shows Smartphone Scanners Aren't as Secure as We Think They Are

Researchers from two universities were able to spoof some fingerprint-based security systems, demonstrating the possibility of creating a master print to unlock phones.

FIngerprint-based authentication systems, commonly used in modern smartphones and tablets, could be less secure than originally thought, according to new research released Tuesday. Because these systems scan and store partial versions of fingerprints, those partial prints can be more easily matched, university researchers said.

The findings, announced via press release, come out of the New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan State University College of Engineering. The initial theory was that the researchers could create a "MasterPrint" that could potentially match to many different partial prints, and give them access to a user's device.

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