Beware: Hackers Are Using A New Method To Break Into Phones

This may make it easier for thieves to get in.

December 05, 2018 - 3:17 pm

(WWJ) As more of us do our holiday shopping on our smartphones, researchers at Michigan State University are warning about a new method hackers are using to break into them.

The fingerprint login may have been meant to make our phones more secure. But the way most of use to access our phones may make them more vulnerable, experts told WWJ's Michael Cohen.

You may not know that your phone only requires a partial fingerprint match to open up.

MSU computer scientist and engineer Maroon Ross says if there's a partial match corresponding to an individual, it is deemed to be a match.

"(Thieves) can potentially create a spoof fingerprint that matches with an arbitrary identity," he said. 

VentureBeat said this method of hacking into data is extra disturbing because so many of us "are conditioned to believe that fingerprints are unique and are much safer than passwords. "This is largely true, but a laptop manufacturer’s choice in sensors can potentially lead to the theft of your fingerprint image."

To prevent that, Ross suggests making your phone accessible only by using both a fingerprint and a code.