A video circulating on social media has raised alarm about the potential for hackers to steal individuals’ fingerprints from their selfies, leading to unauthorised access to phones and accounts, and possibly resulting in the theft of funds and data. This video specifically warns against posing with the ‘V’ finger peace sign, suggesting that such a pose exposes fingerprints to the camera, making them vulnerable to malicious activity.


Investigating the Claims

Specialist social media journalists from The Cube investigated these claims to determine their validity. Their investigation involved consulting experts, including Sarah Morris, Professor of Digital Forensics at the University of Southampton, and Frank Breitlinger, Associate Professor of Digital Forensics and Investigation at the University of Lausanne, whom both provided insights into the technical feasibility of such a threat.


Expert Insights

According to Professor Morris, while it is technically possible to extract fingerprints from high-resolution images, the likelihood of this happening is extremely low. For a fingerprint replication to be feasible, several specific conditions must align:

Image Quality: The image must be of extremely high resolution. Most social media platforms significantly reduce photo and video quality, which acts as a substantial barrier to the extraction of usable fingerprints.

Specialised Software: Perpetrators would need access to advanced, often AI-driven software to extract and convert fingerprint information from images into usable biometric data. Such software is uncommon and challenging to obtain. Professor Morris states, “It’s certainly not something I’ve come across as a practitioner, and it would be difficult to get hold of, it would be bespoke at the moment.”

Biometric Data Storage: Fingerprints and other biometric data are typically stored locally on devices, such as mobile phones. This means that even if a hacker could extract fingerprint data from a photo, they would still need direct access to the device to use it for fraudulent purposes.


Practical Cybersecurity Advice

Despite the minimal risk, experts recommend practicing good cybersecurity by being mindful of the content shared online. This includes avoiding close-ups of fingerprints, eyes, or other biometric features, and being cautious with the use of voice and face recognition software.

Professor Breitlinger suggests greater caution when sharing images that include detailed biometric information. He expresses more concern about the potential misuse of such data for creating deepfakes, which pose significant privacy and security risks.



While the idea of fingerprints being stolen from selfies is technically possible, the probability of it happening is exceedingly low due to the high level of technical expertise and specific conditions required. However, it remains important to be cautious about the personal information shared online to mitigate any potential risks.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss this further with a member of our expert team, please contact us here.