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Fingerprints Can Be Stolen By Taking A Photo of Your Hand From A Distance — Hacker Claims During Demonstration

Photo by Mattias.
Photo by Mattias.

By Seth Rosenblatt
One hacker says he has developed a way to copy fingerprints using a common digital camera.

Jan Krissler, a member of Europe's oldest hacker collective, the Chaos Computer Club, said he accomplished such a feat at the Chaos Computer Conference on Saturday. His demonstration included creating, he claims, a digital copy of a fingerprint of Germany's federal minister of defense, Ursula von der Leyen, using commercially available software called VeriFinger.

He said he had a photographer snap high-resolution photos of von der Leyen's fingers while she was at a presentation in October -- standing nine feet away from the official. Krissler said he wasn't able to verify von der Leyen's fingerprint was accurate, but he was still confident it was a workable copy. "I have tried it with my own finger under similar circumstances (same camera, same distance)" he said in a statement to CNET.

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