Hackers steal 5.6M fingerprint files: What can criminals do with the data?

fingerprint

Cybercriminals stealing our biometric information is very unsettling. Passwords, credit cards and even Social Security numbers can be changed to guard against identify theft and fraud. Fingerprints, however, cannot. At least, not permanently. Perhaps the only silver lining to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s announcement last week that criminals had stolen 5.6 million fingerprint files, up from the 1.1 million files originally reported missing, is that it would be extremely difficult to use such biometric data to commit fraud or theft.

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Nanotechnology Breakthrough Promises to Recover Usable Fingerprints From Old Evidence

fingerprint

New nanotech method will allow better analysis of latent fingerprints.

Forensic investigators will be able to study old, dry fingerprints with a new fingerprint analysis method.  This new method could potentially unmask new evidence in cold cases.  The new method uses gold nanoparticles that are able to target amino acids on non-porous surfaces.  This will allow better analysis of latent fingerprints.

 

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Why Do We Have Fingerprints?

Why Do We Have Fingerprints? 

Why do people have fingerprints?

Fingerprints do not help primates grip, as previously thought, scientists have discovered. They actually reduce the friction needed to hold onto flat surfaces. Now Dr Roland Ennos and his team at The University of Manchester are trying to find out: why do we have them?

Dr Ennos, at the University’s Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “I have been thinking about this for years and, having played around with it for a bit, realised that skin is rubbery so the ridges in fingerprints might actually reduce grip.

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Does A Twin Earth Exist?

Does A Twin Earth Exist?

Artist’s conception shows a hypothetical twin Earth orbiting a Sun-like star.

Does a twin Earth exist somewhere in our galaxy? Astronomers are getting closer and closer to finding an Earth-sized planet in an Earth-like orbit. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft just launched to find such worlds. Once the search succeeds, the next questions driving research will be: Is that planet habitable? Does it have an Earth-like atmosphere? Answering those questions will not be easy.

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