How secure is the fingerprint scanner on your smartphone?

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Now with a touch of a finger you can unlock your cell phone, pay bills and buy almost anything. A new study by researchers from Michigan State University and New York University exposed the vulnerabilities with everyday fingerprint scanners – like the one on your smartphone.

The study claims the fingerprint scanners can be fooled by fake fingerprints. In the paper, they created what they call “MasterPrints” or fingerprints created by many common features.
Not only did these manipulated prints work, they bypassed the system up to 65 percent of the time.

However, the researchers never actually tested their findings on real smartphones. Instead, they used a computer simulation to gather their data.

Andy Adler, a professor of systems and computer engineering at Carleton University in Canada who studies biometric security systems, told the New York Times, “It’s almost certainly not as worrisome as presented, but it’s almost certainly pretty darn bad”…“if all i want to do is take your phone and use your apple pay to buy stuff, if i can get into 1 in 10 phones, that’s not bad odds.”

If you’re really worried about your device being secure make sure to enable all of the securities features available on your device.

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