Casually Secure Currency

Lazy counterfeiting security and leveraging the goodies for pranks, profit, and general mischief…

Almost a year ago, I posted a little thingy about the new Australian 5 dollar notes and had a bit of a play with their security features.  Notably, extracting the security image and subtly applying it to other documents and thereby passing on the printer locking powers of the new currency.  You see there was a special image embedded in the note that caused printers to lock up or print warped images instead of allowing you to copy the currency.

Well its time for round 2 with the release of the new 10 dollar note.  This ain’t no samsung unboxing by another fanboy so I’m gonna go ahead and skip the bullshit.  The new $10 notes carry a similar looking sequence of security circles to the $5 notes (with the obvious color change as well as a curiously different layout).

During my testing of the $5 notes it became apparent that the test euipment I was using exhibted sensitivety to color change with only a small variance from the red causing security to fail.  In testing the new $10 notes it became apparent that the printer/scanner resources I had used were not aware of the financial faux pas they were in danger of comitting and quite happily printed multiple times without a single error code or distorted print out.

Obviously this could be the afore mentioned color difference causing the problem but it could just as easily be that the layout of the security circles had not been programmed for in the current device .  It could be postulated that the final design for the new note had not been finalised at the time of device programming and therefore there was no way of knowing how, where, and what shape of security circles to program for.  The failure to prepare adequately leaves a time period during which the notes are not protected while firmware updates catch up and close the hole.

Since the $5 note does such a great job of causing printouts like the above image when attempts to copy it are made, and the $10 note is thus far boring as bat shit, I had some thoughts on general shenanigans that can be enjoyed with the feature.  So without further adieu, here’s a link to the magic dots…

…and what I came up with while at the pub.

On the license plate!

Parking inspectors Are sometimes required to take photos of the vehicle they’re ticketing.  That could be a problem.  What about speeding or red light cameras?  Anyone keen to test this one for me? 😉

Passport/ID photos.

Now no one can have a copy of that ugly mugshot they insisted you do your best soulles zombie impression for.  Although now you also can’t use it for a bunch other things you probably actually wanted.

April fools day! 

Put it on students assignments/lecture slides.  Although I’m told no one prints at university these days.   I just like to imagine some student  going mental trying to print their reference material at last minute and wasting hours.

Personal Privacy.

Printed on a tshirt so anyone who takes a photo Of you will be unable to print it.  Mugshots could be fun.  More traditionally, school and staff photos.  Try printing that yearbook!

Actual Document Security.
Its relatively common to lock down digital communications in an office but preventing someone from printing out a hard copy to tuck in their pants and smuggle out can be difficult, so why no subtly apply this extra security to tue documents watermark?  Maybe protect some medical, legal, exam, or encryption documemts?
Alright, enough of the half bakery.  I can’t help wondering what other nasty tricks are lurking in our everyday lives.  Go break some shit.


(Maybe take out a small inconspicuous advert on one of the more expensive pages of your favourite newspaper?  Just saying. Id hate to have to refund all those advertising dollars because I couldn’t work out why the page wont print.)

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