When we first meet Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in Marvel's Ant-Man, he uses a few household items to fool a fingerprint scanner with relative ease. Turns out, what Ant-Man did isn't actually so farfetched.
Kai Cao and Anil Jain, researchers from Michigan State University, have devised a way to spoof -- that is "to trick" -- two Android phones with fingerprint locks into opening by using two simple items: printer ink and paper.
By scanning a fingerprint at 300dpi and printing it on an inkjet printer, Cao and Jain were able to unlock both a Samsung Galaxy S6 and Huawei Honor 7 with little effort.
Although they use a special kind of paper (AgIC paper) and ink (conductive silver ink), both are widely available on Amazon, and no I'm not linking you to them.
Cao and Jain have only tested this on two smartphones, but everything from iPhones to home security systems use very similar fingerprint scanning technology.
So, it's not outside the realm of possibility that someone could James Bond you out of your life savings if, like many of us, your bank allows you to sign in via your phone's fingerprint scanner. Plus, hacker outfit Chaos Computer Club has already figured out how to do this same thing, although in another, more complicated way.
The moral? Let's all be a little more diligent with our security, shall we? And make sure no one tries to scan your fingers. ?
Watch a video from MSU about their experiment below.