Theoretical biometric vulnerability documented

People have been saying it would happen but this is the first time, to the best of my knowledge, it actually occurred:

Police in Malaysia are hunting for members of a violent gang who chopped off a car owner’s finger to get round the vehicle’s hi-tech security system.

The car, a Mercedes S-class, was protected by a fingerprint recognition system.

 The attackers forced Mr Kumaran to put his finger on the security panel to start the vehicle, bundled him into the back seat and drove off.

But having stripped the car, the thieves became frustrated when they wanted to restart it. They found they again could not bypass the immobiliser, which needs the owner’s fingerprint to disarm it.

They stripped Mr Kumaran naked and left him by the side of the road – but not before cutting off the end of his index finger with a machete.

Although there are lots of intelligent comments about this on the biometrics email list I am on there was one guy that said:

There is a simple solution to the problem of having your finger cut off to fool the sensor – don’t drive your Mercedes in Malaysia.

This guy has a severe case of cranial rectum inversion.