Tag Archives: biometric security

Samsung Galaxy S8's Facial Unlocking Feature Can Be Fooled With A Photo

Samsung launched its new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, at its Unpacked 2017 event on Wednesday in New York, with both IRIS and Facial Recognition features, making it easier for users to unlock their smartphone and signing into websites.

All users need to do is simply hold their Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus in front of their eyes or their entire face, as if they were taking a

Police Unlock Dead Man's Phone by 3D-Printing his Fingerprint

Now no more fight with Apple or any smartphone maker, as federal authorities have discovered a new tool for unlocking phones, as far as your phone is using any biometric sensor…

3D Printing!

Yes, Police in Michigan is considering 3D printing a dead man’s fingers so they could unlock smartphones in investigation crimes using their biometric sensors.
<!– adsense –>
A new report published

Cybersecurity matters

It’s unusual now to watch a newscast or read a paper and not come across a report or story of some computer security breach, theft or data or malicious program that’s wreaked havoc with a company’s, or the government’s, systems. On September 20th, the New York Times reported that Apple too is the target of malicious software in its App Store.

Tomorrow marks the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the U.S. and the European Cyber Security Month. While there’s no way to insure that your business computers, devices and networks are 100% free from attack, there are a number of simple steps that businesses – even those without dedicated IT resources – can and should take to protect their business, customers and employees.

Perhaps the most important first step is to recognize that every business – even small and medium businesses – are potential targets. Hackers and distributors of malware are simply looking for any opportunity to steal information, accounts, passwords and identities. The less security they encounter, the easier their task. According to Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) of the Congressional Small Business Committee, “…71 percent of cyber-attacks occur at businesses with fewer than 100 employees.”

So how best can a business protect itself, particularly when it has no dedicated IT department or specific technical expertise? By deciding to implement a few easy precautions, to at least make it more difficult for hackers and others. And while our focus is business, these same suggestions work at home too and can help protect families.

  • Awareness and training – Employees should be made aware that there could be attacks and trained to recognize some of the signs of an attack or harmful email or phishing scam. Make sure that processes are in place to address requests for credit card numbers, payment information or personal data and that employees know what to do if those requests are received.
  • Password protection – Passwords are the keys to the kingdom and too often, good password policies aren’t in place or aren’t followed. Passwords should be unique, complex not obvious, and should be changed regularly. There are tools that can help manage passwords to reduce the burden.
  • Backup your data – It’s not difficult and it’s not expensive. A little discipline across all your systems will help a business recover from an attack or a catastrophic event.
  • Implement malware, spyware and firewall software solutions – This is like locking the door of a business at night. So many potential attacks can be stopped before they ever have an opportunity to steal or damage a business. Firewall, antivirus and malware software watches for possible attacks and threats and is exceptionally easy to install and manage.

Though cybersecurity month starts tomorrow, today marks the introduction of the 2016 update of the AVG Business AntiVirus and Internet Security software suite. Faster and less intrusive than ever before, these programs are that starting point for good business security.

Now is the right time to evaluate or review businesses security policies and to implement protection practices and tools if they aren’t already in place. It’s not hard to get started. The 2016 AntiVirus or Internet Security Business Editions are available at http://www.avg.com/business-security. In addition, AVG Business Partners have access to a range of resources to help establish better security and protection for clients.

Good business security doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating, with the right software and by following some simple steps, all businesses can enjoy a little peace of mind.


Three reasons to be excited about: Facial Recognition

Facial recognition software has a bad reputation. Associations with surveillance state and future visions of corporate tracking and advertising like in the movie Minority Report make facial recognition seem like an intrusive and objectifying technology tearing at the last remnants of our privacy.


Minority Report


While there are legitimate concerns about some uses of facial recognition technology, there are also a huge number of wonderful and innovative ways it can be applied to improve our daily lives.


People with disabilities

Facial recognition software and the growing accuracy with which technology can accurately discern human features is starting to become a real benefit to people with disabilities.

The recently unveiled “XploR mobility cane” uses facial recognition technology to scan approaching people and alert the user when someone they know is approaching.

Likewise, the Samsung Memory Recaller is an app designed to help Alzheimers sufferers recognize the faces of friends and loved ones.

Samsung Memory Recaller from Bbdo Proximity Thailand on Vimeo.



Search and recovery

While Google has recently shelved planned to commercially release a facial recognition search due to privacy concerns, their acquisition of PittPatt shows there is still interest in the technology. The recent earthquakes in Nepal have underlined the importance of international search and rescue efforts.  Facial recognition can be a huge help when used in conjunction with other online search and recovery tools such as Google’s Person Finder to help identify missing people and put them in touch with friends and family.

PiP My Pet


When most people think of facial recognition, they naturally think of people, but work is already afoot applying this technology to our furry friends. Apps such as PiP My Pet use the same facial recognition technology to identify lost pets.


Security and convenience

Despite what many people may think, facial recognition will almost certainly make the technology of the future more secure and easy to use. I’ve written before about the merits and shortcomings of biometric security but recent buzz around Microsoft’s How-Old.net and Facebook’s DeepFace tagging technology show that there is a lot of research going into this area.

Very soon, web enabled devices will be able to discern our identity with complete accuracy meaning that identity specific items such as keys, wallets, ticket and passports could become things of the past. Using technology will also become easier with facial recognition helping alleviate some of the headaches caused by remembering multiple passwords and login credentials.


Do you have a favorite use for facial recognition technology? Do you think it is a good or bad thing? Let me know on Twitter or on Facebook.

Title image courtesy of Engadget.com

Is the rise of biometric security a good thing?

Whether we like it or not, it seems that biometric security is rapidly becoming the norm.

In March alone, Samsung unveiled new iris scanning technology, Microsoft announced facial recognition for Windows 10, Asus introduced fingerprint scanning and Qualcomm, Fujitsu and Intel all jumped in with biometric tools of their own.

Why are we seeing such rapid adoption?

Although it may still seem futuristic, modern biometric security has been around for a number of years. You could argue though that it was only with the launch of the iPhone 5S and its fingerprint scanner that people really started to take notice.

Now, fuelled by convenience, biometric security is at the forefront of our minds. After all, why remember a password or have to input a code when your device can simply scan you and authorize access?

Is it secure?

While few people can argue that biometric security is not convenient, there are still question marks over its viability as a robust security measure.

SRI, who developed Samsung’s iris scanning technology claim that “tests have shown this purely iris-based solution to be more than 1,000 times more accurate than published fingerprint data.” This begs the question, how secure is fingerprint data?

Not all that secure it turns out. In October 2014, a hacker known as Starbug accurately replicated the fingerprint of the German Minister of Defense from nothing other than hi-res images taken of her at an event.

More recently, AVG’s own researchers from the Innovation Lab in Amsterdam developed a set of ‘Invisibility Glasses’ that used specialist materials and technology to successfully counteract facial recognition technology.

We’ve written many times before about the pros and cons of biometric security, from speculating on the future to busting myths.

However for now, it’s clear that if biometric security is really going to become our de-facto method of authentication, we need to make sure it is rigorously tested.

Why I’m not worried about fingerprint hacking

The holiday season is a time of relaxation with family and friends. However, the news doesn’t stop and over while on the road with my family I read a story that seemed to take a sensationalist and quite negative angle.

The story titled “Politician’s fingerprint ‘cloned from photos’ by hacker” was posted on the BBC News website. It explains how, in October 2014, a hacker took photos of a politician’s hands at a news conference and managed to replicate their fingerprint from the photos. The ‘hacker’ quips that after this discovery, all politicians will most likely start wearing gloves.

Image courtesy of BBC


In the article, reference is made to the fact that both Apple and Samsung devices use biometric fingerprint technology to secure their mobile devices. It seems that this is meant to scare us into thinking the technology is not safe and that we cannot rely on our fingerprints to secure us.

We need to start the year with some perspective on this story. The process of recreating someone’s fingerprint this way is both difficult and time consuming and therefore unlikely to be an issue for the mass consumer audience.

It goes without saying that we have all seen locks being picked in movies yet continue to lock our doors with similar keys. Nobody is writing articles about how easy it would be to take a picture of your keys and accurately reproduce them.

I believe we should be celebrating that authentication mechanisms once only used by large companies and government agencies have found their way into our everyday lives.

If you look back a few years, only a few people used PIN numbers on their phones. If the introduction of swipe codes and biometric security increases the number of people with locked phones, isn’t that a good thing? It shows that more consumers than ever are protecting their devices in some way to stop people stealing their information.

I do of course understand that research into weaknesses in security such as this should be carried out and exposed so that better technologies can be developed.

But my final thought is to encourage people to use security on their phones rather than trying undermine the systems that might well protect them.

So how can you keep your mobile device safe? Here are some tips from AVG Academy on securing your Android mobile:


How to keep your Android device safe