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AIBU to ask for help with a slightly bonkers experiment?

(19 Posts)
user0 Sun 18-Dec-16 02:20:53

I'm currently doing a course on information security and the topic of hedgehog based authentication has come up. For reference, here is the original article mentioned:

Questions have come up as to whether hedgehog paws are unique enough for this to be secure and whether paws are interchangeable or not. Would anyone with a fingerprint sensor and a couple of small docile critters be willing to do a couple of tests in the name of slightly bonkers science?

myoriginal3 Sun 18-Dec-16 02:29:58


scaryclown Sun 18-Dec-16 02:47:07

ok. i will scan my fingerprints into your database.

OlennasWimple Sun 18-Dec-16 02:53:19

I think the occupants of the middle bit of a Venn diagram showing MNers / people with a fingerprint scanner / people with access to a hedgehog / people willing to participate in the study would be incredibly small in number.

However, this is MN, where weird and wonderful things happen, so who knows?

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Sun 18-Dec-16 02:58:19

Why do hedgehogs need paw recognition??

Aren't they all asleep this time of year?

And do people really have fingerprint sensors in their houses? Why?

CondensedMilkSarnies Sun 18-Dec-16 03:00:35

I have a hedgehog that sits on my front doorstep , I'll have a word with him .

user0 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:03:03

Why: to determine the validity of pet based authentication (basically see whether it's in any way secure or not).

I require no fingerprints, nor pawprints for that matter. I mostly just want to know if one paw is used to lock a device, can another paw unlock it? Video evidence is appreciated, if possible, for sharing on a private forum relating to the course.

I figured it was a long shot but if anywhere will pull through, it's mumsnet grin

It doesn't have to be a hedgehog, evidence on the paws of other small critters would suffice, although hedgehogs would be preferred.

Fingerprint sensors are built into some newer smartphones. Alas, not mine sad

user0 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:07:29

Some people keep african pygmy hedgehogs as pets, I'm guessing that's a safer bet than wrestling with a wild hedgehog (I politely request that no one harass wildlife for the sake of this study). I'm not sure the hedgehog will have much use for paw recognition (fancy treat system maybe?) but I'm curious about the possibility of pet based authentication being somewhat secure. I suspect the answer is that it isn't but I'd like to know either way.

CondensedMilkSarnies Sun 18-Dec-16 03:10:25

I thought sensors recognised finger prints - do hedgehogs have finger prints ? Genuine question . Disclaimer : I have no technical expertise regarding sensor stuff grin

user0 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:17:47

I don't think they do but research is lacking. The article has a video of the hedgehog paw setting the fingerprint lock and being able to unlock it but this is where the questions arise. Would another hedgehog's paw be able to unlock it or are the paw ridges / shape unique enough for it to be locked that particular hedgehog?

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sun 18-Dec-16 03:21:50

Is there any worries over hedgehog identity theft? grin

user0 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:34:48

There have been concerns.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sun 18-Dec-16 04:11:42

I saw a hedgehog in my garden 3 years ago. They're getting rare you know!

LouisvilleLlama Sun 18-Dec-16 07:45:17

I couldn't think of the subreddit, maybe science or ask science or something maybe do a little research but I'd imagine Reddit would be a better place to ask as even though it has a bad reputation for some people it has 10/100s of million of visitors with varying knowledge and as I've seen someone on their with a garage raccoon there may be a perfect combination of willing participants and those with adorable pets to try.

PebbleInTheMoonlight Sun 18-Dec-16 09:37:57

To be honest the sensor on smart phones is very small.

For it to recognise just one of my fingers it took 9 or 10 complete scans.

It is expecting a human finger as the shape so there's little chance of someone successfully scanning any animal paw print without being a tech clever clogs that can jailbreak and recode a smart phone.

That's before you consider trying to get an animal to be docile enough to allow for the multiple scans it would take to capture the whole paw to make paw print recognition possible.

Good luck finding the ideal tech/clever person/docile hedgehog combo.

That's assuming this isn't one of those 'in jokes' that appear on MN from time to time.

LisaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 18-Dec-16 17:25:09

Having nearly split my sides laughing reading about this bonkers experiment I'm going to move it to Not For Profit Surveys as we don't allow this kind of thing on our main Talk Boards (it would be usually be deleted but hey, it's the festive season after all). Thanks for the tears of mirth this thread elicited - I love hedgehogs and the thought of them turning into tiny Tom Cruises (think Mission Impossible) is just utterly delightful!

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 18-Dec-16 17:29:20

This should work with Guinea Pigs, which would be oddly fitting.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Sun 18-Dec-16 17:37:57

Spongecat offered to help, but I fear her paws are too big!

CondensedMilkSarnies Sun 18-Dec-16 19:17:27

I could also try with Sarniescat but I value my fingers too much and the thought of a trip to A&E to have the inevitable lacerations she'd inflict on me treated ,doesn't appeal grin

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