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Hackers may be able to steal fingerprints remotely from an Android phone

Monday 10 August 2015 09:11 CET | News

Security researchers have discovered that hackers can remotely obtain fingerprints from Android devices that use biometric sensors.

FireEye scientists say the threat is specific to Android smartphones that use a fingerprint sensor, which limits the number of vulnerable devices. Though companies like Samsung, Huawei, and HTC currently produce Android devices with those sensors, Apple still has a significant hold on the market. Its Touch ID sensor has proven to be more secure because it encrypts data gleaned from the scanner.

The researchers detected four methods of attack, the most disconcerting of which could remotely hack the sensor and steal any fingerprint that it encounters. Called the ‘fingerprint sensor spying attack,’ it would allow a hacker to continuously use fingerprint data however they please.

By 2019, industry watchers predict that more than half of smartphones will have fingerprint sensors, which means phone makers must improve their device security.


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Keywords: cyber-attacks, cyberfraud, web fraud, online security, internet users, cyber-security, fingerprints, Android
Categories: Securing Transactions | Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Securing Transactions