How ID thieves could steal your identity from a selfie

Nina Pineda Image
Monday, February 27, 2017
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Nina Pineda has 7 on your Side.

It's the trending selfie-pose, the backward peace sign. But experts say this sign is now a thumbs up for cyber thieves to steal your identity.

Digital Forensics expert Ondrej Krehel says your innocent digit display can be cropped, edited, printed, and lifted into a clear fingerprint - an exact replica of your unique ID.

"You don't realize your fingers are exposed," said author and founder of CyberScout, Adam Levin. Levin says it's called 'print-swiping.' The risk is rising as we move into a more bio-metric tech society, as companies are now using your eyes or your prints to unlock phones, apps and even your credit card or bank account.

"These websites contain financial information personal information and you can't change your fingerprint," warns Levin.

"Especially for our generation we love selfies. The thing that we found is if you have your camera on "HDR" it actually makes such a clear photo," says Cyber Intelligence coordinator Lisa Minervini.

Lisa showed 7 on Your Side how a picture taken with the camera, within 2 feet can give hackers a great 'high def' outline of your fingerprint. The enhanced image is then printed onto a clear sheet with a laser or 3D printer set to heavy toner. The raised lines, brushed with glue, are then able to be lifted.

"It's that simple. Which makes it very frightening," says Minervini.

"These are incredibly creative, sophisticated, persistent people," says Levin. "Who had every turn find ways of entrapping innocent people."

To hinder hackers, Levin says turn the HDR, the high def resolution button on your camera phone to "off." And, even though it's fun, don't display your digits on social media. Simply - protect your prints.