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Unscannable Banknotes!!!


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Unscannable Banknotes!!!

Iwas going to post the Chile 5000 Pesos from 2009, It is an interesting pink polymer note with and owl on the back. However, my scanner will not scan it because of security features. Does anyone have information on what special dye they use or is it a pattern that the scanner looks for?

 

 

 

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Its a pattern that the scanners/computers are taught to look for. I forget what it's called. A constellation or something.

 

Ahh.. Here it is. Pretty fascinating!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation

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You have to use an older scanner that doesn't detect that pattern and block out the image. My scanners are 8 years old, one is a primary and the other a backup for when and if the first gives up the ghost. But some older notes will defeat scanners on simple scans, for instance some Giesecke & Devrient notes printed in the late 19th century for German states and a few Latin American countries are difficult to scan, also 1930's and early 1940's Dutch notes printed by Joh Enschede en Zonen are difficult to image because the patterns in the printing cause the scanner to moire the image - essentially blur the image when it is scanned. There are ways around them, you have to tweak the scanner, but so far with the new stuff - I don't currently know of a way to get around the programme that deliberately blocks the image other than using an earlier manufactured scanner that doesn't have updated software to block the programme.

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Its a pattern that the scanners/computers are taught to look for. I forget what it's called. A constellation or something. Ahh.. Here it is. Pretty fascinating! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation

 

No. The EURion constellation is not the problem. Reported by Marcus Kuhn (professor of computer science at Cambridge) in 2002, it was demonstrated in 2004 by Dr. Steven J. Murdoch (professor of computer science at Cambridge) to be neither necessary nor sufficient. See here: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sjm217/

 

I have taken a direct and active interest in this problem. I spoke to two local security groups here in Ann Arbor and just submitted an article to the MSNS Mich-Matist. I have a legal counsel contact at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

 

The modern (post-2000) notes of several nations are detectable by scanners and software. The hardware and software responses are not consistent across all manufacturers, makes, and models. You might be able to scan, but not print, or (as in this case) not scan at all.

 

The bottom line is that there is no easy fix across all problems except to use the oldest serviceable equipment.

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So if it's not the constellation, what is the problem? It may not be THE specific problem to that note, but it's certainly a proven and effective deterrent. I'd like to see more evidence of its effectiveness or... as you say... ineffectiveness.

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I'd like to see more evidence of its effectiveness or... as you say... ineffectiveness.

 

The initial report about EURion.

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/eurion.pdf

Then in 2004, more research was conducted.

Initially it was thought that the "Eurion constellation" was used to identify banknotes in the newly deployed software based system, since this has been confirmed to be the technique used by colour photocopiers, and was both necessary and sufficient to prevent an item being duplicated using the photocopier tested. However further investigation showed that the detection performed by software is different from the system used in colour photocopiers, and the Eurion constellation is neither necessary nor sufficent, and in fact it probably is not even a factor.

 

Read the entire project report here http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sjm217/projects/currency/

Dr. Murdoch performed experiments that you can perform as well. Banknotes have "areas of interest." If you want to join our research project, I am happy to have to you aboard. PM me.

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But some older notes will defeat scanners on simple scans, for instance some Giesecke & Devrient notes printed in the late 19th century for German states and a few Latin American countries are difficult to scan, also 1930's and early 1940's Dutch notes printed by Joh Enschede en Zonen are difficult to image because the patterns in the printing cause the scanner to moire the image ...

 

I have the same problem with certain classic stock certificates. I would love to show the vignettes, but they moire.

 

The thing is that about a dozen men who signed the Declaration of Independence also signed the paper money of their coolonies and states. If we cannot archive the materials, we cannot carry out historical reseach. More recently, Lawrence W. Summers went from Secretary of the Treasury to President of Harvard. You never know what facts become relevant over time. Not being able to scan these notes now will have consequences for history in the future.

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I have the same problem with certain classic stock certificates. I would love to show the vignettes, but they moire.

 

The thing is that about a dozen men who signed the Declaration of Independence also signed the paper money of their coolonies and states. If we cannot archive the materials, we cannot carry out historical reseach.

 

 

I am currently doing research on the signers and printers of Colonial era currency that I have in my collection. More so than the well known, like Franklin etc. the less known have fascinating stories by themselves. One signer of a colonial lottery ticket was a British noble, others were soldiers, lawyers, politicians, even clergy. I have a subscription to Ancestry.com so it helps considerably in piecing it all together.

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Here are some banknotes that were challenging to image:

 

germanybavaria100.jpg

 

Giesecke & Devrient(Munich) printed note.

 

netherlands101942.jpg

 

netherlands25gulden1947.jpg

 

netherlands1001936.jpg

 

These are all Joh Enschede printed notes.

 

uruguay11896.jpg

 

Another Giesecke & Devrient printed note. Uruguay went all out on hi-tech banknote printing from the 1870s on and spared no expense on obtaining the best available.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It is my belief that the scanners and/or image processing programs react to the patterns in the color-shading backgrounds on the notes. You can easily see them when you examine modern notes with a simple magnifying lens.

 

Mike

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There are a couple of ways to test that theory. I grant that the features are there, but the causal link is not established. Other researchers speak of "areas of interest." If you scan a note vertically, it goes so far and stops; scan it horizontally and it goes so far and stops. But the distances traveled are necessarily different. Also, with some notes, the foil stamp stops you: you can block out some areas such as the foil stamp and get past them.

 

Also, it depends exactly on the series. Although 31 nations have signed on, not all have instituted any or all of the same features.

 

I submitted an article to a numismatic magazine, but the editor rejected it. He never heard of the problem and doubts that it exists. I am sending it to a different publication.

 

Following a second phone interview with an EFF lawyer, I placed a formal request to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury for a review of the problem. (I know... but it has to be done to do things right.)

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I put a summary on my blog (NecessaryFacts.blogspot.com) and I put a detailed account on my website (www.washtenawjustice.com) under Computer Security.

 

Right now, I have a spreadsheet with 50 partial entries, gleaned from this and other boards and provided by Owen Linzmayer and others. Nothing more will be done actively until I hear back from the US Department of Treasury and the lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

 

(I am still interested in collecting information on the banknotes, hardware, and software that you are having trouble with.)

 

I gave a presentation earlier this month, and before I talked, one security researcher asked me, "Why don't you just use cameras?" It was a good question.

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The answer to the camera question is easy to me.....because not everyone can afford the proper camera setup to take high quality pictures.

 

I have done both with banknotes. Scanned and taken pictures. The scanner is just much easier. It's easier to place the banknote so it is level, so when you view it, it isn't tilted any.

With a camera you need to make sure you have a piece of paper taped down for a background and to get the camera set so it takes level pictures. Most people don't want the hassle of setting the camera up this way. When tyhe edge of the scanner glass will do it for you.

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