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US government hack results in millions of fingerprints stolen

By Ian Chee - on 26 Sep 2015, 9:00am

US government hack results in millions of fingerprints stolen

Image source: Mashable.

The White House has said in a statement that over 5.6 million fingerprint records have been stolen from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Late last year, we heard that your fingerprints can be replicated from a photo of them. And early last month, researchers have shown at the Black Hat Security Conference that your fingerprints can be easily stolen if you rely on those in Android devices.

This incident likely has nothing to do with the two vulnerabilities we mentioned but still, the fact remains that you can get a new password much more easily than you can a new fingerprint when something like this happens.

Ken Munro from security firm Pen Test Partners had this to say about fingerprints used for biometric security keys: "The biggest concern about biometrics since day one has been revocation. It is easy to get a new password, pin or credit card after a breach but it's rather harder to get new fingers."

The OPM keeps records on 21.5 million federal staff. The incident has also led to the stepping down of director Katherine Archuleta.

Source: BBC.