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NYU Indian American researchers say, smartphone fingerprint scanners can be breached

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NYU
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From left: Aditi Roy, Nasir Memon and Arun Ross.
The research, funded by the National Science Foundation, was a collaboration between researchers from the New York University Tandon School of Engineering and the Michigan State University College of Engineering.

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — In a recent study titled MasterPrint: Exploring the Vulnerability of Partial Fingerprint-based Authentication Systems, which appeared in IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security last month, a trio of Indian-American researchers led by NYU Tandon School of Engineering professor Nasir Memon revealed the fingerprint-based security systems used in smartphones and other gadgets are a lot more vulnerable than we imagined.

The study first began when Memon dug into Apple’s identity-authentication software patent, which uses partial fingerprints instead of a full fingerprint.

According to the study, that’s where the system is most vulnerable to penetration: “They scan and store partial fingerprints, and many phones allow users to enroll several different fingers in their authentication system. Identity is confirmed when a user’s fingerprint matches any one of the saved partial prints,” it read. The researchers found that it was possible to have enough similarities among different people’s partial prints that one could create a ‘MasterPrint’ — one that could unlock multiple phones.

Aditi Roy, a NYU Tandon postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the paper, told Rediff.com, “As more and more financial transactions — for example, mobile banking and credit card payment — are conducted on fingerprint-enabled devices such as smartphones, issues related to identity theft and malicious access can lead to unprecedented financial damages.

“Vulnerabilities of fingerprint-based authentication systems can undermine the public’s faith in using biometric solutions. So, we wanted to perform a detailed security analysis of such systems that employ small sensors.”

And according to Roy, “the more partial fingerprints a given smartphone stores for each user, the more vulnerable it is.” As Memon explained to The New York Times, “it’s as if you have 30 passwords and the attacker only has to match one.”

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Democrats meet for the third time to debate

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10 Democrats debate in Houston | Diya TV News

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — Democrats met for the third time to debate, this time in Houston. With the field on stage featuring just 10 candidates, it was more rancorous than the first two clashes.

California Senator Kamala Harris launched ‘South Asians for the People‘ in a video tweet to build support for her presidential bid from Indian Americans and other South Asians. Harris is the daughter of the late Indian American cancer researcher Shymala Gopalan.

Another Democratic contender, former Vice President Joe Biden, announced Indian American Amit Jani will serve as Asian American Pacific Islander national vote director. He’s currently serving in New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s administration.

Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is levying criticism at the current officeholder, Narendra Modi and his government for focusing on ”headline management” rather than acting to improve a slowing Indian economy.

And actress Felicity Huffman received 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine and community service for paying to rig her daughter’s SAT scores.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Business

India may offer to cut import duties, for U.S. goods

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India has a road map in place to spend $130 billion over the next 5-7 years to modernize their armed forces and bolster their combat capabilities over their neighbors. The plan includes procurement of a slew of weapons, missiles, air defense systems, fighter jets, submarines and developing infrastructure for use of AI.

Meanwhile, India and Russia are increasing industrial cooperation and will create new technological and investment partnerships, especially in high-tech, with the goal to increase bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2025.

And to help Indian’s space agency ISRO establish a communication link with Vikram, the moon lander lying motionless on the lunar surface, NASA is sending hello messages. NASA’s Jet Propulsion lab beamed a radio frequency to Vikram to establish contact, but no luck so far.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Human Rights

India and Pakistan clash over Kashmir at UN

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India & Pakistan clash over Kashmir at UN | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — India and Pakistan shared their respective narratives over Kashmir before the United Nations. India said its Constitution “guaranteed fundamental rights to all our citizens without any distinction,” while dismissing Pakistan as the “the epicentre of global terrorism.” Pakistan urged the UN to set up a commission of inquiry into human rights violations, claiming India arrested more than 6,000 people without due process in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal issued her second letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over Kashmir, expressing deep concern about reports of a humanitarian crisis in Jammu & Kashmir.

A NPR producer based in India, Furkan Khan, resigned after major social media backlash from an anti-Hindu tweet that stated “if Indians give up on Hinduism, they will also be solving most of their problems. What with all the piss drinking and dung worshipping.” Khan has since apologized and deleted the tweet.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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