Hackers Can Steal Your Fingerprints If You Flash The 'Peace' Sign In Photos

Popular? Yes. Harmless? Not so much.

Cover image via WordTraveler5

You might think twice about flashing to "peace" sign in selfies after reading this.

Japanese researchers recently raised a red flag over the seemingly harmless and popular two-fingered pose, saying that hackers could steal fingerprint data off of these photos.

Image via Reuters

A team of researchers from the Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) were able to copy fingerprints from photos that were taken up to three metres away

Image via WordTraveler5

Fingerprint recognition technology has been widely used to verify identities not just in public service, but for personal use, such as when logging into smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers. In relation to the NII researchers' findings, this could mean that personal information are at risk of being leaked.

Professor Isao Echizen, who is part of the NII research team, reiterates that advanced technology is not needed to recreate fingerprint data

Image via Kim Kardashian

"Fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting in a picture," Echizen said.

On the bright side, Echizen said that NII has developed a transparent film containing titanium oxide that can be attached to fingers to hide their prints

According to Japanese daily Shankei Shimbun, the film will help prevent identity theft, but does not interfere with fingerprints being effective in identity verification.

However, the technology will not be ready for another two years.

Until then, it looks like we'll have to find alternate hand poses when taking photos!

On a more local note, an officer from CyberSecurity Malaysia warned that bomohs could use selfies for black magic:

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