Artificial fingerprints have been developed by researchers who say they could one day be used to hack into everyday devices.
Researchers from New York University and Michigan State University successfully generated what they call "Deep Master Prints".
These are machine-learning methods that act as a kind of "master key" which, the researchers claim, have the potential to unlock about one in three fingerprint-protected smartphones.
"Phones and many more devices don't capture your entire fingerprint," researchers told CNBC over the phone. "There's not enough space on the device, so they capture a partial fingerprint -- which is not as secure as the full image."
Many developers were already making fingerprint scanners more secure by moving sensors from devices' buttons to screens, allowing them to pick up higher resolution images.
"Some smartphones have the sensors on the side buttons, which are very thin -- they're convenient but less secure," the researchers said. "Their sensors only register a quarter or so of the fingerprint's features."