Your Phone’s Fingerprint Sensor is More Vulnerable Than You Think

Biometric technology has been a game-changer for smartphones. With authentication using physiological characteristics, like fingerprints, we can keep our devices safer than we ever could with behavioral alternatives, like pin codes, passwords and patterns, which are often predictable or easy to hack.

But a study from researchers at New York University and Michigan State University has found a vulnerability in biometric systems: They can be fooled by similar fingerprints.

Identical fingerprints are rare, if not nonexistent. But sensors on smartphones are too small to process full prints. Instead, handsets scan and save several partial prints of a finger.

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