Testing a range of biometric technologies the team created 60 fake fingers which were successfully authenticated by the combination of the fingerprint readers and their accompanying software in nine out of every 10 attempts.
"Digits from cadavers and fake fingers moulded from plastic, or even something as simple as Play-Doh or gelatin, can potentially be misread as authentic," said Stephanie Schuckers, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clarkson University.
But the research also highlighted ways of mitigating against such fraud. The team developed a technique for distinguishing live digits by detecting changing moisture patterns, successfully reducing the false detection rate to less than 10 per cent.
A photograph of Ms Schuckers demonstrating the Play-Doh finger can be seen here.
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