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Fingerprints to Secure a Device Is Okay For Toy Security Only

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THEME:   LIFE STYLE, NATION

By Serge K | September 25, 2013 9:22 am

Biometrics are supposed to represent a major step forward in mobile phone security by replacing the password.

Hacking iphone 5S touchID

Hacking iphone 5S touchID

Nevertheless, just two days after Apple’s new iPhone 5S went on sale its fingerprint sensor has already been compromised. The German hacker organization Chaos Computer Club (CCC) says it has cracked the protection around Apple’s fingerprint sensor on its new iPhone 5S.

TouchID works by allowing you to unlock your phone by scanning your fingerprint rather than inputting a password or code. To bypass it, the hackers used an iPhone 5S programmed with a fingerprint, and then took a high-resolution picture of the print from a separate glass surface before transferring it onto a transparent film which, after being breathed on to make it slightly moist, could be used to gain access to the device.

Such fingerprint technology has been around for a while — it was included as a feature on the Motorola Atrix smartphone, launched in 2011 — but TouchID has been reported as a significant step forward. That assertion is categorically denied by the CCC, with a hacker known as Starbug, who was responsible for bypassing the fingerprint security, saying: “In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake.”

“This demonstrates – again – that fingerprint biometrics is unsuitable as access control method and should be avoided,” said the Chaos Club’s blogpost author, “Starbug”. “In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake. As we have said now for more than years, fingerprints should not be used to secure anything. You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints, said CCC spokesman Frank Rieger

All  that means that newer iPhone 5S and the cheaper and more basic iPhone 5C is a big blow!

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