A New App Can Scan Fingerprints From Drinking Glass To Unlock Your Device


Of late, the way biometrics on our smartphones are easily befooled is not only astounding but makes us distrust tech companies. A new incident of broken trust shows hackers can easily unlock your smartphone by picking fingerprints on a drinking glass you just touched.

Another case of unsafe biometrics on a smartphone!

According to a new report, Tencent Security’s X-Lab team showcased the hack at a hacking event held in China.

The hack is quite a simple one: you touch a drinking glass, your fingerprints are left behind, and the hackers pick up the fingerprints to unlock your smartphone.

How Does The Hack Work?

It is suggested that the hacking team developed an app, which completes the whole process and makes it a success.

Firstly, a photo of the fingerprints left on a drinking glass is taken. Following this, the app is used to scan the fingerprint data from the picture.

Finally, once the data is scanned, a copy of the fingerprint is created (which takes around 20 minutes to form) that can be used to unlock the person’s smartphone, whose fingerprints just got cloned.

The fake fingerprints were able to befool three smartphones’ fingerprint scanners and two attendance machines that support fingerprint scanning at the event.

While the hackers demoed the whole process at the hacking event, they did not reveal the complete details regarding the app or its functioning.

Furthermore, the hackers claimed to have hacked three types of fingerprint scanning tech.

This includes Capacitance (the physical fingerprint scanners we find on a device), Optical (the in-display fingerprint scanning found on OnePlus smartphones), and Ultrasonic (the tech on the Samsung Galaxy S10 series.)

Here we go again!

While the hacking team claims they are the first ones to crack an ultrasonic fingerprint scanning tech easily, I beg to differ.

We recently heard of the Samsung Galaxy S10+ fiasco wherein ANY fingerprint quickly unlocked the device. Of course, Samsung acknowledged the security debacle and released a software update to rectify it.

Even facial recognition on a smartphone isn’t entirely secure. The new Google Pixel 4’s Face Unlock feature could easily be surpassed even when a user’s eyes were closed. However, Google plans to let out an update soon to resolve the issue.

What’s surprising is that ultrasonic fingerprint scanning tech is supposedly faster and more secure than the optical ones, but such incidents put a big question on them.

We hope a solution to this is soon released, and the biometrics on a smartphone finally become safe!

Also Read: How In-Display Fingerprint Sensors Will Arrive On ‘Budget Phones’?
Vanshika Malhotra

Vanshika Malhotra

Started off as an acquaintance, she is now a friend of tech trying to become a tech pundit soon. An extrovert in nature, she likes everything doggos and puppers.
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