Biometrics trade security for convenience – SR Labs

Mobile biometrics will always carry with them a trade-off of security for convenience, according to Germany-based security research company Security Research (SR) Labs.

The company has been able to fool biometric fingerprint verification systems using fingerprint spoofs from images of fingerprints.

“The sensors continue to fail their marketing claim of secure device unlocking,” SR Labs said in a blog post.

The company has been able to successfully trick the biometric scanners on the Apple iPhone 5s and the recently released Samsung Galaxy S5.

“Other current devices with touch and swipe sensors are equally duped by spoofs,” SR Labs said. The company said it has also been able to hack a ThinkPad notebook as well as a Fujitsu smartphone.

The ability to fool biometric sensors does not only allow access to a user’s devices, but also opens the door to identity theft, the company said.

HumanIPO reported last year the biometrics industry is set to flourish by 2018.

According to Goode Intelligence the industry is driven by Apple with its SmartID feature.

“Apple has disrupted everything and has again disrupted a market and rebranded biometrics as a convenient method of  communicating with consumer technology,” the report said.

Within five years, 3.4 billion users are predicted to engage with biometrics on their mobile devices, resulting in a collective revenue of US$8.3 billion.



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