How easy is it for hackers to steal your face? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 02, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:38 PM, November 02, 2015

Kaspersky Security Update

How easy is it for hackers to steal your face?

Cybercriminals hunt for data of all kinds: personal details, photos, videos and even ways that users interact with others; this data is often stolen from social networks. Stolen data is often posted elsewhere online to be sold to other criminals looking to make a profit. With that said, a digital ID is made up of much more than social media accounts. As technology continues to make advancements, so does the amount of components of our online identity that can be stolen or forged.

It's already possible to put on the face of another person during a video call. With the correct approach it can look so realistic that you'd hardly distinguish between the forgery and a real person.

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There was an app in 2011, which could overlay a face from a photo onto a moving face in a video, dynamically, in real time. After four years on Facebook Oculus Rift developers and researchers at the University of Southern California demonstrated a way to track the facial expressions of someone wearing a virtual-reality headset and to transfer them to a virtual character. Sounds great, but as usual every new development can be used for good and for evil — to deceive, defraud and gain profit in illegal way. Currently people use their fingerprints to enter gyms, which belong to the popular American fitness center chain 24 Hour Fitness. Patients of New York University medical center show their palms instead of their insurance cards, as Patient Secure system scans unique vein patterns in their hands.

Biometrics still has room for improvement. We should not implement new technologies without specific protection systems that will guard people's personal data. Otherwise there can be failures and investigative research into hacking the technology – we'll be sure to tell you about them. For now we highly recommend you to be vigilant and protect important data with the old-fashioned password and two-factor authentication technology.


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