The Hacking Threat For Biometric Scanning Security Devices

Remember when fingerprint and facial recognition scanning was just cool spy tech seen in Mission Impossible movies?  Until recently, only the CIA and top secret spy agencies had this cool technology at their disposal.  Long gone are those days as everyone with a late model cell phone or mobile device can now take advantage of these cool biometric security features.  However, there may be some downsides to unlocking your smartphone or tablet with a scan of your thumbprint or face.

By the year 2019, it’s estimated that there will be nearly 500 million biometric scanners in use around the world.  Amounting to a staggering $25 billion dollar industry.  Biometric scanning is meant to take the place of alpha-numeric passwords that we’ve all used for years and is being touted as a more secure way to lock down your sensitive information.  But just like normal passwords, that are stored on encrypted clouds and servers across the globe, won’t thumbprints and eye scans be susceptible to hacking and theft as well?

But there have already been cases of biometric hacking on a large scale. An estimated 22 million people had their personal data stolen in a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management in December 2014, including RAND privacy expert and mother of two Rebecca Balebako. She received a letter from OPM last year informing her that her personal information, including her ten fingerprints, were stolen in the breach. –  Read the full article here. 

My question is, what happens when your biometrics are stolen and used for identity theft?  You can’t change your thumbprint every 30 days.  You certainly can’t change the composition of your retina if your eyeball biometrics are hacked.  Nor is it likely you’ll get plastic surgery to change your face, should your facial scan information be stolen.  Once your personal features are stolen, how to you ever get access to your secure websites, devices and information again.  Biometric tech might seem like tricked out technology at the surface, but it’s possible that it may be less secure than the 10 digit passwords we’ve grown accustomed to.

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The post The Hacking Threat For Biometric Scanning Security Devices appeared first on SIF.org.

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