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Technology

Is it possible to unlock a smartphone with a dead finger

Today biometric authentication is in vogue instead of the good old passwords. To unlock your smartphone, you no longer need to type numbers or letters – you just need to put your finger on the sensor or look at the screen.

Is it possible to unlock a smartphone using a dead body?

You will say that a situation in which it would be necessary to perform such strange manipulations with a corpse, in principle, cannot arise? However, in modern forensics, it is quite common for intelligence agencies to gain access to the smartphone of the deceased – who, as a rule, was a terrorist. For example, on November 6, in a church near the city of San Antonio, Texas, former American soldier Devin Patrick Kelly started shooting.

He managed to kill 26 people and injure 20, and when the local police rushed to the church, the offender was found shot dead near his car. Whether he was killed by a member of the parish or committed suicide is unknown, but Apple has offered to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation in unlocking the killer’s iPhone. The criminologists did not need help – they unlocked the iPhone on their own, and the method used, of course, is kept secret.

Perhaps the FBI agents simply put the dead man’s finger on his iPhone and unlocked the smartphone using a fingerprint? Hardly. Enil Kumar Jane, professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan (USA), in his book Handbook of Fingerprint Recognition argues that using the body of a dead person for biometric authentication is impossible.

The fact is that the capacitive sensor of the biometric fingerprint scanner on the smartphone detects the presence of electric current in the skin – if there is none, then the smartphone will not recognize the fingerprint and will not unlock. Accordingly, artificial fingers made of any material, be it silicone, rubber or plastic, are simply useless in this matter. By the way, you won’t be able to unlock the smartphone by showing it the face of a dead man – the scanner makes sure that the person moves his eyes.

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