Fingerprint Cards (FPC) is trying to dispel some popular misconceptions about fingerprint spoofing. In its latest blog post, the company notes that while spoofing is technically possible, it is difficult to the point that it becomes prohibitively expensive for the average criminal.
Of course, that stands in sharp contrast with the first automated fingerprint scanners, which arrived in the 1970s and could be spoofed with little more than a good photocopier. Technology has improved dramatically in the decades since. Smartphones have been particularly important in that regard, since the demand for smaller and less expensive sensors has been driving hardware and software innovation for the past few years.
On that front, FPC explained that component manufacturers found ways to capture a smaller surface area with a much greater level of detail. The technology is now so sophisticated that it is virtually impossible to spoof a sensor without a full laboratory setup and exceptional Photoshop skills in addition to a high-quality latent print. Even then, the process can take months, and would need to be repeated for each individual print.
That’s why fingerprint spoofing is relatively unappealing to cybercriminals, who are usually looking for techniques that can be deployed at scale. For the most part, spoofing fingerprints is simply not an effective use of time or resources, especially when compared to traditional authentication methods like passwords and PINs.
While smartphones are still an integral part of the company’s business, FPC has taken steps to diversify its portfolio in the past few months. The company released new software designed for access control applications, as well as a new BM-Lite sensor for IoT devices. FPC has also called for the mass adoption of biometric payment cards, arguing that fingerprint biometrics will allow banks and merchants to raise the spending cap for contactless transactions.
May 21, 2020 – by Eric Weiss