14 Stories

To Unlock a Dead Man's Phone, Police Turn to 3D Printing

Michigan State University professor Anil Jain is on the crime-busting case

(Newser) - An unsolved murder and a locked mobile phone led police to Michigan State University, with an unusual request: Could computer science professor Anil Jain whip up 3D-printed fingers of the victim? Doing so would give them manufactured fingerprints that could unlock his phone and perhaps glean clues about who killed... More »

How to ID a Terrorist: V Signs?

Scientists say everyone's hand geometry is different and may help ID terrorists

(Newser) - Trying to ID masked terrorists appearing in propaganda or execution videos is one of counterterrorism's biggest obstacles. But a researcher at Jordan's Mutah University and his team think they've found one physical tell that could prove invaluable: the victory sign formed by making the letter "V"... More »

The Ultimate Password: Your Thoughts?

Researchers say brainwaves have potential as an ultra-secure method

(Newser) - If typing in 12345 represents the most unsafe extreme of the password spectrum, researchers at Binghamton University suggest this represents the safest: your own brainwaves. As they explain in a post at Eureka Alert , the scientists read dozens of acronyms to volunteers and measured their brains' reaction to them. The... More »

Hacker: I Cloned Fingerprints From Photos

Says he stole German official's print using HD images

(Newser) - Fingerprints may not be as secure as you think. A hacker in Europe says he managed to create a copy of the German defense minister's thumb print using a digital camera and easy-to-get software, reports the BBC . Jan Krissler of the Chaos Computer Club says he used photos of... More »

Check Your Pulse for Your New Password

Wristband lets you log on with heartbeat

(Newser) - Keep forgetting your password? A Canadian startup says it can give you a password that you won't lose for the rest of your life. The firm's "Nymi" wristband checks your heartbeat—which is as unique as your fingerprints—and uses it to unlock everything from computer accounts... More »

India Rolls Out Project to ID 1.2B Citizens

World's biggest biometric ID program launched

(Newser) - What could be the biggest IT project the world has ever seen gets under way today in a tiny hamlet in northern India. The village in Maharashtra has been chosen for the launch of India's ambitious project to collect fingerprints and iris scans from all of its 1.2 billion... More »

Security of the Future: Track Terror Intent in Faces

Project seeks to use biometric clues to point out bad guys

(Newser) - It sounds like something out of Minority Report, but Homeland Security scientists are actually working on a projects they think will be able to identify potential terrorists based on the way they blink, breathe, or balance their weight. Researchers are testing a variety of biometric sensors, in the hopes of... More »

Democrats' ID Card Plan: Get Your Fingerprints

'Biometrics' a big part of immigration reform proposal

(Newser) - Now it's the Democrats' turn to be accused of trying to violate civil liberties in the name of immigration reform. A crucial part of their plan calls for what amounts to a high-tech national ID card. It would have a "biometrics" component—namely fingerprints—and every worker would need... More »

Fingerprint Surgery Fools Japanese Immigration

Woman has fingerprints swapped to dodge biometric border control

(Newser) - An illegal immigrant slipped past Japan's biometric security system by having surgery to swap her fingerprints, according to Japanese authorities. The Chinese woman, deported after overstaying her visa last year, had skin patches on thumbs and index fingers removed and regrafted onto the opposite hands, the BBC reports. More »

Europe Moves to Fingerprint Travelers

Privacy advocates fret, but US, Japan already have similar policies

(Newser) - Just as Washington is pushing Europe to increase security, the European Parliament is considering fingerprinting every international traveler who enters or leaves the continent, the Washington Post reports. “It’s the only way to be really sure about identifying people,” an official said. The US backs the measure,... More »

FBI Develops Global Police Net

High-tech global database will track suspects

(Newser) - FBI officials are holding key talks with international law enforcement authorities to develop a high-tech database of suspected criminals and terrorists. The "Server in the Sky" system, which uses sophisticated biometric data such as iris prints, could transform international policing. But it may be a hard sell in some... More »

FBI Plans Huge Biometric Index

On project 'Next Generation Identification'

(Newser) - The FBI is planning a $1 billion database of “biometric” information—face shapes, iris scans, palm patterns, and even gait patterns—to enhance investigations, the Washington Post reports. Critics fear that the plan, called Next Generation Identification, will further erode individual privacy as the body becomes a de facto... More »

Security Device Sector Booms

James Bond-style gadgets range from biometric keyboard to blast-proof curtains

(Newser) - The inventions that turned up this month at a competition to find the world's most promising security start-up sound like prop candidates for a James Bond film than the real world: explosion-proof curtains and a hand-held tester for exposure to nerve agents were featured alongside the winner, a night-vision camera... More »

Thumb Prints Produce Cash in Rural India

New biometric ATMs help the illiterate poor get wages faster

(Newser) - Payday in rural India now comes with the scan of a fingerprint: Brand new biometric cash machines are letting illiterate laborers collect their meager wages hassle-free. Account holders are issued an ATM card bearing their thumb print information; when they withdraw money, they follow voice commands to retrieve their wages.... More »

14 Stories