It is completely useless to purchase a biometric access control device if the fingerprint can be duplicated easily through a simple photo. The possibility to duplicate fingerprint biometrics through a simple photo opens access to multiple frauds and would devastate the security industry as a whole today. Recently media have been publishing articles claiming that the National Institute of Information of Technology of Japan has built up a strategy that can duplicate fingerprints from photos taken up to three meters away with a digital camera. “Just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera, fingerprints can become widely available. Fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting in a picture,” NII researcher Isao Echizen told the Sankei Shimbun newspaper. It defeats the purpose of having a biometric fingerprint device if one is able to duplicate fingerprint biometrics through a simple photo.

As this can be a significant risk to the Biometric Security Systems, it’s imperative to know if there is any truth to these claims. Is it possible to duplicate fingerprint biometric pattern and hack security systems with just a photograph? With the advancements in technology, cameras now have extremely high resolutions and are more powerful than ever before. Even though it is possible to get a well-defined picture of a fingerprint, it won’t be enough to bypass a biometric security system.

How does a biometric fingerprint scanner work?

Examining how does a fingerprint scanner work, It’s crucial to know that the Biometric Patterns are not just based on the patterns of the fingerprint but it also analyzes the depth of the furrows and ridges that form the fingerprint. This element of the Biometric System makes it extremely difficult to obtain a precise three-dimensional pattern especially when the slightest variation is detected easily. It’s close to impossible to get an accurate biometric pattern from a two-dimensional picture. This fact reduces the possibility to duplicate fingerprint biometrics through a simple photo by 90%.

The biometric systems nowadays have integrated ‘alive confirmation’, ‘anti-impersonation’ and ‘anti-spoofing’ processes. So even if hypothetically, a perfect biometric pattern is created, the chance of it resulting in a false positive is less than one in ten billion due to these processes along with advanced algorithms incorporated within the system.

To conclude, hypothesizing that a three-dimensional biometric pattern can be cloned or duplicated from a two-dimensional image is a blatantly implausible claim. Biometric security systems cannot be manipulated because of the complex algorithms integrated within to compare the patterns, the ‘alive confirmation’, ‘anti impersonation’, ‘anti-spoofing’ processes and the high-security standards implemented within the infrastructure of the Biometric system.

Thus with regards to safety & biometric fingerprint access control devices, one can rest carefree as the chances of duplicating fingerprint biometric credentials through a photo are impossible.

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