Inkjet alert over forged banknotes

时间:2019-02-26 12:10:01166网络整理admin

By Barry Fox Fierce competition in the inkjet printer market has made digital colour printers so cheap and the print quality so high that a £100 printer can produce fake banknotes that pass for the real thing in the dim light of a bar or nightclub. This warning comes from De La Rue, the world leader in security printing. The company has coined the name “digifeiters” for the new generation of counterfeiters spawned by ultra-cheap high-resolution inkjet printers. In speaking out, De La Rue has broken its traditional stony silence on alleged security problems. “This is very sensitive subject but we thought it was time to say something and make people think,” says spokesman John Winchcombe. In a warning document, De La Rue tells banks and governments: “There appears to be little appreciation of the nature of the problem ­ and even less sense of urgency. The world¹s central banks are now having to deal with an increasing number of counterfeit banknotes, generated by colour inkjet printers.” Commercial colour copiers that work on the xerographic principle, with multiple drums and coloured inks, have been available for 25 years. But they cost tens of thousands of pounds and since the mid-1980s their makers have voluntarily built in software that detects the fine detail of banknote security marks and stops them from being copied. Modern inkjet printers are often dirt cheap or are given away with PCs. Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark are now making “all-in-one” machines that combine a printer, copier, scanner and fax for around £100. And resolution is very high ­ at least 4800 dots per inch. Anyone can copy just about anything. “These low-cost devices have completely changed the nature of counterfeiting,” says Mark Cricket, bank note security specialist with De La Rue. De La Rue has been working with computer firm Software 2000 on an anti-digifeiting system, which modifies printer driver software to recognise data patterns indicative of banknotes from many countries. But printer makers are showing no signs of wanting to adopt the technology. De La Rue thinks the printer makers may fear potentially degraded performance from such printers ­ as they may perhaps refuse to print similarly detailed but innocent items. Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark say they currently have no home-grown technology to stop cash copying,