Japan researchers warn: Flashing “Peace” Sign in Photos May Lead to Identity Theft

Jan 14, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Japan researchers warn: Flashing “Peace” Sign in Photos May Lead to Identity Theft

Jan 14, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) recently warned the public about taking and publishing photos with popular two-fingered pose. They claim that flashing “V” sign in photos may lead to your identity being stolen. The reason is that fingerprint recognition technology became so advanced and widely available, that a simple snapshot of a person holding up the “peace” sign may lead to someone stealing their identity.

NII warns about two main potential dangers. First, quick development and availability of modern cell phones with high-quality cameras. And second, the rising number of social media websites where you can easily post photos. These two combined may lead to a large number of identity thefts using only your photo and your fingers in it.

The researchers tested their claim by trying to copy fingerprints from photos taken by a digital camera. They were able to scan them from the photos taken 3 meters (9 feet) away from the subject. So, technically, if you flash the “peace” sign in the photos, your fingerprints and identity can be stolen. NII researcher Isao Echizen warns that the thieves can recreate your fingerprint data if your fingers are in focus and lighting in a photo is strong. He also warns that advanced technology is not necessary, but anyone can do it.

But, it’s nice that NII isn’t only pointing out to the problem, they are also offering solution. They have developed a transparent film you can attach to your fingers and hide prints. It contains titanium oxide and prevents anyone from scanning your fingerprints and stealing them from the photos. At the same time, it doesn’t interfere with identity verification.

Unfortunately, this technology will not be ready in another two years. So, if you want to send the message of peace through your photos by raising two fingers, you should reconsider it. Or at least wear gloves.

[via DigitalRev]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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11 responses to “Japan researchers warn: Flashing “Peace” Sign in Photos May Lead to Identity Theft”

  1. Theuns Verwoerd Avatar
    Theuns Verwoerd

    It’s best to take claims made by someone who just *coincidentally* plans on selling a solution, with a grain of salt.

    1. John Woodhead Avatar
      John Woodhead

      Solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist!

  2. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    Finger print normally equal thumbprint, not fore finger or middle finger

  3. John Woodhead Avatar
    John Woodhead

    What an absolute load of shite! As if an photo posted online will be of good enough quality to resolve lines a fraction of a millimetre wide!
    Can’t believe DIY photography would even consider giving this bollocks the time of day!

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      They need to go back to writing about DIY projects and hacks, not this stuff. And how often do you use your fingerprints for identification, anyway? I’m more worried about my SSN getting out, especially after all these idiots keep asking me for it for no good reason (insurance companies, doctor’s offices, etc.)

  4. Ian Hecht Avatar
    Ian Hecht

    The ability to do this has been around for a while – the Guardian reported on it in 2014 (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/30/hacker-fakes-german-ministers-fingerprints-using-photos-of-her-hands ), but I wasn’t aware that even smartphone photos could be used. Thanks for the info!

  5. Kwez Avatar
    Kwez

    Check this website daily and this is probably the dumbest thing ive seen posted.

    and do you really need to sell a product to cover your finger tips just for one pose? use tape, or photoshop lol. this guys going to be his own only customer

  6. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
    Arthur_P_Dent

    Can we please get back to building PVC studios rather than this stuff?

  7. Doug Walkey Avatar
    Doug Walkey

    Hmm… advanced technology… rubber cement?

  8. MrM3000 Avatar
    MrM3000

    You can always just turn your hand. But wait, that makes you look like a gang banger…

  9. Breezanemom Avatar
    Breezanemom

    What if you just turn your hand around so that they only see the back of your hand…simple fix…