Better, cheaper security method is propose

Jul 29, 2005

Microscopic "fingerprints" formed by surface imperfections on nearly all documents and plastic cards might be used as a cheaper method to combat fraud.

Researchers at Imperial College London and Durham University say the inherent identity code is virtually impossible to modify and can be easily read using a low-cost portable laser scanner.

The researchers believe the technology could also prove valuable in the fight against terrorism by making it harder to fake passports, ID cards and documents such as birth certificates.

All non-reflective surfaces have naturally occurring roughness that is a source of physical randomness. And that, say scientists, could replace current, more costly identification measures, such as holograms or security inks.

"This is a system so secure that not even the inventors would be able to crack it since there is no known manufacturing process for copying surface imperfections at the necessary level of precision," said lead author Russell Cowburn, professor of Nanotechnology at Imperial College London.

Cowburn and his colleagues are now working with their spin-off company Ingenia Technology to take the idea to market.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Scientists invent award winning 2-in-1 motor for electric cars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers design plasmonic cavity-free nanolaser

Sep 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Imperial College in London has designed a new type of laser, one that could be made much smaller than today's models because it would be cavity-free. In their paper ...

The quantum revolution is a step closer

Sep 11, 2014

A new way to run a quantum algorithm using much simpler methods than previously thought has been discovered by a team of researchers at the University of Bristol. These findings could dramatically bring ...

Recommended for you

First self-contained step dimming LED tube

3 hours ago

Samsung Electronics today introduced the industry's first AC Direct step-dimming LED linear replacement for T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention ...

Battery system will be able to light 2,500 homes

3 hours ago

One of the largest, most environmentally-friendly, battery-based energy storage systems in the nation will be installed at the University of California, San Diego the campus announced today (Sept. 29).

User comments : 0