dawn of the fingerprint sensor finally brought convenient security to our
smartphones, or so we thought. Researchers at Michigan State University,
however, were able to demonstrate how an inkjet printer can print a 2D image of
a fingerprint in order to unlock smartphones.
secret is in the ink and paper. You’ll need to use silver conductive ink, which
is designed to print circuit boards, and a special paper designed for printing
electric circuits. The researchers used AgIC silver conductive ink cartridges,
as well as AgIC conductive paper. The cartridges come in a three-pack and
replace the Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan colored cartridges in the inkjet printer.
other major step is grabbing the fingerprint itself. The fingerprint image was
achieved by scanning a finger at least 300 dots per inch (dpi), followed by
reversing the image in a horizontal direction.
printed, it’s a simple as cutting the paper down to a little larger than the
fingerprint itself. The experiment involved placing the small piece of paper
with the printed fingerprint on the sensors of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Huawei
The report implies this method can be done on most
smartphones with a fingerprint sensor, but an iPhone was never used in the
demonstration. The researchers said newer phones might not be able to be
spoofed, but they didn’t get into specifics.