Just posted a high-quality video of your makeup session or a high-resolution picture on social media, expecting some ‘likes’ and ‘loves’ from your followers?
You may have just given up your identity marks and biometric patterns, exposing yourself to cyber attacks for the rest of your life. The audio clips you post regularly on social media and that #noblink or #makeup or #nomakeup challenges expose your ‘iris’ identities that, like your fingerprint marks, are unique to you.
Weak passwords and clicking malicious links are considered the biggest security concern as they could make it very easy for hackers to break into systems and cause immense damage. But, these can be rectified in many cases by changing passwords and deploying two-factor authentication.
They contend that posting high-resolution pictures, videos and audio files on social media platforms poses much bigger risks to people.
From creating national social security and identification numbers to crossing borders and availing public services – iris identities, which are exclusive and unique to individuals, play a crucial role.
“However, by publicly sharing certain kinds of content on social media, we give malicious actors the opportunity to source our biometrics,” the latest report by cybersecurity solutions and research firm Trend Micro said.
“By posting our voice messages, we expose voice patterns. By posting photo and video content, we expose our faces, retina, iris, ear shape patterns, and in some cases, palms and fingerprints,” it points out.
“Since such data could be publicly available, we have limited control over its distribution. We therefore don’t know who has already accessed the data, nor do we know for how long the data will be retained or for what purposes,” the report cautions.
What can hackers do?
According to the report, the hackers can use your face and voice pattern to create a deepfake persona and take over an account requiring voice authentication.
“They can hijack an account that uses facial recognition for authentication,” it warns.
By magnifying part of high-resolution photos, hackers can capture workable biometric features that are highly used for verification and identification.
How to be safe
To pre-empt attacks, experts have asked people should use less-exposed biometric patterns (such as fingerprints) to authenticate or verify sensitive accounts.
“With modern life, it is understandably very hard to keep face and voice patterns from exposure. However, a degree of control over other biometric patterns such as fingerprints or iris patterns can still be kept to a minimum for most internet users,” they point out.
“They should minimise exposure of biometric patterns. It would also be better to lower the quality of media published online, or even blur certain features,” it says.