Doctor caught red-fingered, buddy-punching absent co-workers in Brazilian hospital

March 13, 2013 - 

A Brazilian doctor has been charged with fraud, after being caught using silicone fingers to clock absent co-workers in, spoofing the biometric workforce management solution installed at a hospital outside of Sao Paulo.

Making headlines around the world this morning, the doctor, 29-year-old Thaune Nunes Ferreira has been arrested, and according to a report in Folha De S.Paulo, Ferreira told police she had been using the silicon fingers as she had been coerced by her employer to do so, as she faced losing her job.

Following suspicion that some sort of fraud had been occurring, cameras were installed near the biometric time clock and eventually caught the doctor red-handed.

At the time of arrest, Ferreira had six silicone fingers in her possession. Other doctors suspected of being a part of the scam, have been taken off duty while an investigation takes place. The silicone fingers appear to be a full casting of the entire fingertip, not just the fingerprint.

A blog on the Securlinx website aptly suggests that the fake fingers appear to be “created with the participation of their owners, making them evidence  for the prosecution that they were complicit in the fraud […] if the counterfeiter wasn’t working from live models, there would be no reason to add a fingernail to the back of the fake finger.”

Besides the counterfeit, intent and implications that this has had on the Hospital and community, the issue still exists that the installed system allowed the buddy-punching in the first place. Many systems today boast their resistance to spoofing, in fact, it’s one of the major reasons these systems are implemented in the first place. That being said, there have been reports of buddy-punching and ghost workers that have surfaced around implemented workforce management systems recently.

Reported previously in, Employees at the South Delhi Municipal Corporation have found a way to dupe biometric attendance machines to records their absence, while away from work.

Similarly, the Luzerne County controller in Pennsylvania has alleged a similar flaw with a Kronos workforce management system being used in government offices.

As of yet, it is still unclear who the manufacturer of this particular workforce management system is.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj