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Biometrics and Computer
Is biometrics the answer for computer log-on and or server room security? The subject has often been raised by clients, my take has always been, when they steal your
password you have the option to change it, if they steal your biometrics !! So it was with interest I watched a (Discovery Channel) TV
show attempting to fool an expensive biometric lock.
The makers claimed the lock had never been beaten and that it was
foolproof since it:
Mapped your fingerprint pattern.
Measure your skin temperature.
Measured your skin resistance.
Measured your pulse.
That all looks pretty convincing, until you consider b, c & d, are
variables. They vary all the time,
so the lock can only be sensing if they are present, not what value they are.
You could therefore be reasonably
safe in assuming that any normal human finger is going to satisfy these
requirements. After many complex
efforts at transferring someone else’s fingerprint, they obtained a finger print,
quite conventionally, from a glass sheet (could be window / door / machine part)
enhanced it with the normal dusting powder, photographed it and printed out the
photograph onto standard office paper.
They then trimmed, neatly, around the finger pad area and glued this
photocopy of the authorised persons finger print, onto their index finger pad.
This is really low low tech stuff, but it opened the door every
time. Now, would you like to
be the person who had just convinced management to installed hundreds of expensive, high
security biometric locks.
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Alexander Kennedy - Principle Engineer.