Creating Fingerprints with 3D Laser Scanning

new ways to test the security of our electronic devices

As our technology grows more advanced, we are continuously trying to find ways to protect and secure this technology. In the past, we have used codes, passwords, and patterns to protect our laptops, phones, and other smart devices. Recently researchers and designers have started using biometrics or fingerprints to secure these devices.

As we adopt the use of biometrics to secure our technology, we also worry about the safety of it. Can it be hacked into? What are the glitches? Can someone steal your fingerprints? Using biometrics is so new that there was very little research done that the public could read about, there may be a few articles explaining how to use it.

Testing cybersecurity with 3D laser scanning

Craig Williams from Cisco Talos describes his new research that is open for the public. The company that he works for analyzes, studies, and helps protect against cyber threat intelligence. His goal is to provide solutions for companies that help them become more secure, in return, consumers also feel this safety.

Craig Williams and his team were able to take fingerprints three different ways, through pictures, lifting prints, and swapping items to get prints. All of this can be done from a lab. From there, they were able to use 3D laser scanning to replicate the prints and create molds to use to test the security of different objects consumers use.

What devices did the test

Craig Williams tested several different objects, such as mobile phones, laptops, and smart devices. He was able to test and iPhone 8, HP Pavilion X360, Smart padlocks, Samsung Note 9, and Lenovo Yoga laptop. All of these have the option to use biometrics as a way to secure your device. These are also items that many people use daily.

What were the results and how secure are your devices

As technology grows and adapts, it could potentially be a threat. However, right now, it takes hours and hours to get on useable print. If you left your phone at a party, there is no way anyone would be able to get your impression from your phone and create a viable print from it.

This project took Craig Williams hours to get one print and on a strict budget that is higher than the average person. If someone had a few thousand dollars to drop on getting a useable print, it would be very concerning. However, for the average person, it should not be a concern yet.

For the devices tested, after 50 molds and hours of creating scans using 3D laser scanning, there was only an 80% success rate. Using this technique, there was no success on Microsoft Windows 10 devices, though this does not mean it is any safer.

To create useable prints, someone would have to be very dedicated. As 3D laser scanning technology updates and evolves, it could become easier, faster, and that is when consumers will need to really focus on cybersecurity.

Why this research is important

Most consumers use technology every day, and a company needs to make sure they feel secure in their purchase. It helps create customer loyalty. Cisco Talos not only created this research for the big companies, but for everyday consumers to feel confident in this security system, it may seem simple, but it does take a lot of work to break into.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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