Identity theft using selfies: Your fingerprint can now be stolen from your
pictures <>*
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[image: Image: Identity theft using selfies: Your fingerprint can now be
stolen from your pictures]
I*f you like to display the peace sign when **posing for pictures*
selfies, there’s a new strategy you should employ, effective immediately.
Make sure the back, or fingernail side of your hand is displayed, and not
the fingerprint side. If you are featured in any online photos where you
are exposing your fingerprint, you might want to consider deleting those as
soon as possible. Photos that are shared and stored online create an active
database of fingerprints for thieves to exploit.*

*Advancements in photo manipulation software can now lead to identity
theft; because it is now possible for identity thieves to successfully
obtain your fingerprint data from images. Japanese professor, Isao Echizen,
knows the dangers of exposing your fingerprints first hand. Echizen is
advising people to reconsider the innocent peace sign pose, after a recent
experiment was conducted by his team at the NII’s Digital Content and Media
Sciences Research Division, where they were able to successfully retrieve
peoples fingerprint data from photos that were taken from distances up to
three meters away. “Fingerprint data can be re-created if fingerprints are
in focus with strong lighting in a picture,” said Echizen.*

*The technique Echizen describes doesn’t use any special software, but
certainly requires good lighting. Low light pictures aren’t a significant
threat now, but could become more serious in the future as mobile cameras
become more sophisticated. Whenever possible, it is important not to rely
on security measures that require fingerprint data

*Biometrics are becoming an increasingly accepted form of reliable
security, replacing passwords and other safeguarding solutions in many
instances. Keeping your prints private <> is
now a valid concern. You can always change your password after being
hacked, but you can’t change your fingerprints.*

*Professor Echizen believes that celebrities are most vulnerable
the new method of identity theft; due to the high number of photographs
they generally appear in. While regular individuals might downplay the
threat, this is a real situation which has already caused everyday people
to become victims of ransom scams, because they compromised the security of
their digital data.*

*An ordinary photo is all it takes for a thief to gain the ability to copy
your fingerprint. The progression of technology in high quality digital
photos has opened one side of the vulnerability, the other side being
technologies akin to Touch ID, which turn your fingerprints into digital
keys that can be used to unlock many of the devices we use today.*

*A third vulnerability exists within the technologies that use our
fingerprints for verification or validation. Touch ID and similar
fingerprint verifying security measures are likely to store your
fingerprint data so that it can be compared to the print that is trying to
gain access through the security measure. The fact that your fingerprint
data could be stored up in a cloud for comparison raises additional
security concerns
because hackers might be able to obtain that data in a security breech
similar to what we often see with major companies.*

*In Echizen’s home country of Japan, as in many parts of the world, the
peace sign is a common gesture shown in photos, however, it isn’t the sole
hand gesture that could compromise your security. Other common gestures
like waving, or giving a thumbs up, also create the same security
vulnerability. When a fingerprint is matched with a person’s face, it
creates a significantly greater threat for identity thieves to use
the biometric data
malicious intent.*

*The fingerprint sensor on your phone is the key to unlocking all the
private information that is stored on the device. This is not the first
warning advising people that their fingerprint data needs to be protected.
Back in 2014, a hacker demonstrated an eerily similar technique where he
successfully replicated a German politician’s fingerprints from a public
photo. The hacker then proceeded to create a three-dimensional mold of the
fingerprint, which was capable of unlocking a secured phone. (RELATED:
Learn more about technology glitches and failures at

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