[funsec] Why fingerprint biometrics are bad...
dr at kyx.net
Tue Jan 13 20:01:40 CST 2009
(Experts have been saying it for years. Now we will have to deal with
the inadequacies of the systems put in place. cheers, --dr)
Woman details immigration scam
Yasuhiro Maeda / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent
SEOUL--A South Korean woman who entered Japan on a fake passport in
April 2008 by slipping through immigration control's state-of-the-art
biometric system using special tape on her fingers has detailed to The
Yomiuri Shimbun how her illegal entry was facilitated by a South
Korean broker suspected of helping numerous illegal immigrants using
the same technique.
According to sources, the woman, 51, was deported from Japan in 2007
for overstaying her visa. In August 2008, she was found to have
reentered the country in April and was deported again in mid-
September. She currently lives in southern South Korea.
Excerpts of her interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun follow:
The Yomiuri Shimbun: When was your first visit to Japan?
Woman: It was September 1999, when I entered as a tourist.
After [my tourist visa] expired, I continued to stay while working as
a dishwasher at restaurants or as a bar hostess in Nagano.
I was deported to South Korea in July 2007, but I really wanted to
return to Japan because I couldn't forget a Japanese man I had been
How did you reenter Japan?
In mid-April 2008, I met a male broker at a cafe in Seoul after I
asked a South Korean woman, whom I got to know at a Tokyo Regional
Immigration Bureau facility [in 2007] when I was deported for the
I was told the man had helped many South Koreans enter Japan using the
method, in which people put special tape containing imitation
fingerprints on their fingers to cheat the fingerprint scanner at
I saw the broker answering his cell phone and speaking with people who
said they had "successfully entered Japan."
I'd heard that one of them entered Japan three days before me by using
the [fingerprint] trick.
How much did you pay to the broker?
I paid 13 million won [1.3 million yen at the exchange rate at that
On the day in late April when I was scheduled to depart South Korea, I
received a forged passport in exchange for the money at a cafe. There,
I had the tape affixed to my index fingers, and then took a flight to
Aomori from [South Korea's] Yingcheng Airport.
Why did you head for Aomori Airport instead of Narita or Kansai
The broker told me he had his clients use various small regional
airports across Japan, saying it would be very risky if illegal
immigrants flocked to one airport. He also said passport control at
small airports isn't generally as rigorous.
I was told to reduce my baggage as much as possible and pretend to be
going to golf or hot spring resorts in Japan.
When I arrived at Aomori Airport, I filled out the immigration card by
choosing the item of "stopover for sightseeing" [as the reason for my
What did the special tape [to cheat the biometric fingerprint scanner]
It had a floppy-rubberlike touch and was flesh colored. Nobody could
tell at a glance [that the tape was affixed to my fingers], including
the immigration officers.
I crumpled it into a ball and disposed of it after I left the airport.
Can you still reach the broker?
No, I can't, because his mobile phone number seems to have changed.
However, I received several phone calls from him within a week after I
(Jan. 3, 2009)
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