Identity, Privacy and Trust

Apr 10 2008   10:05AM GMT

Phish fingers

tobystevens tobystevens Profile: tobystevens

Tags:
Biometrics
identity
privacy
Surveillance
technologies

The past few days have seen the emergence of a new attack group – phish fingers. After the Chaos Computer Club published a fingerprint of a German minister, there’s a reward out for fingerprints from the UK Prime Minister and Home Secretary.


The Chaos Computer Club has a long-established reputation for great stunts, and they’ve excelled themselves this time. German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who apparently often quotes the old lie “if you have nothing to hide you should have nothing to fear,” has had one of his dabs published online. Chaos has also republished its own guidance on how to use these as ‘gummy fingers’ to spoof biometric readers. Apparently Mr Schäuble is not too pleased about these Phish FIngers.

In response, NO2ID and Privacy International have circulated wild-west style Wanted posters offering a £1,000 bounty for anyone who can get a set of prints for the Prime Minister or Home Secretary. What’s rather fun about this is they have no way to prove the dabs they get are legitimate, and nobody else can disprove them – not unless the individuals concerned publish their prints for verification. The only certainty here is that if they claim they’ve got them, they’ll probably receive a friendly visit from the local Bobby…to hide, then you have nothing to fear.wanted.gif

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  • Guy Herbert (General Secretary, NO2ID)
    Toby, What reason would the police have to investigate such a claim? It is not illegal to make or possess copies of someone's fingerprint. We don't have a politically directed police force that harrasses people who embarrass ministers, do we?
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