If you use your fingerprint to access your smartphone, that's smart. Cybersecurity experts recommend that you use biometrics like fingerprints to prevent criminals from getting into your phone.
If cybercriminals get in, they can steal your personal information. They can find your bank's login and password and, more frightening, your home address and other information.
So, hackers are always devising new methods to get past your security systems. For instance, we recently told you that criminals can use kids' molding dough to replicate your iPhone Touch ID fingerprint.
Now, researchers have discovered a frighteningly easy way hackers can bypass your Android device's fingerprint recognition system. Worse, it took them only 15 minutes and everyday office supplies to do it.
First, criminals lift your fingerprint from your phone or from an object you've touched. Then, they scan your fingerprint's image at 300 dpi (dots per inch) or a higher resolution.
They print it out using conductive AglC ink and glossy paper. All the hackers have to do is print out your fingerprint the size of your actual fingerprint. They just use that image to unlock your phone.
"We have proposed a simple, fast and effective method to generate 2-D fingerprint spoofs that can successfully hack built-in fingerprint authentication in mobile phones," researchers at the Michigan State University wrote in their report. They issued their paper as a warning to the 1 billion people using Android devices.
Of course, this type of crime requires the criminal to know you or have access to your Android phone or fingerprints. You'll want to make sure to keep your Android phone with you at all times. Or, if you think you're at risk of someone stealing your fingerprint, turn off that feature and use a secure, complex password to access your phone.
Bonus: Listen to Kim Komando talk more about this frightening fingerprint hack this weekend on the "Kim Komando Show." Click here to find your station on our Find a Station map.