Image recognition to prevent casual forgery

This is so cool!

That explains why there are all those silly yellow “20”‘s in the background of the new US 20 dollar bills.

The political/social/freedom aspects of this story leave me totally irritated. But the technology involved is pretty nifty, and the fact that the authorities managed to get this integrated into software for image editing, photocopiers, etc without any public scrutiny is just absolutely unbelievable.

So now the countdown starts. How many days until a hacker writes a tool to fix this brain damage in Photoshop? All that is required is a program that takes a bitmap with EURion constellations in it as input and creates as output a bitmap missing the minimal amount of data so as to not trigger the EURion detection algorithm.

I guess 7 days. Any other takers?

UPDATE: My housemate found an article at ZD Net identifying the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group as the source of the technology. More as I learn more about it.

UPDATE 2: A friend (who shall remain nameless) has confirmed that if you remove enough of the 0’s so that none of the constellations survive, Adobe can open it. Lots of questions remain since it was a quickie test. For instance, if you paste in two partial images (1: bill with left half of constellations, 2: right half of each constellation only) will Adobe notice? If you do manage to make a multi-layer image like this, will the image reco stuff kick in when you flatten the image? I made one multi-layer image like this, but it was not a conclusive experiment because I changed the resolution to make it easier to work with the image.

UPDATE 3: An article at Wired points out that many people have worked around this software.

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