Apple’s iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner Hacked By German Computer Club

Source: CBS News

Apple’s iPhone 5S is off to a running start with record-breaking sales, but it appears that the device’s much-hyped security feature Touch ID has already been cracked. A German biometrics hacking group called the Chaos Computer Club posted a video online on Sunday demonstrating how they’ve bypassed the iPhone 5S’ fingerprint scanner.

The hackers say they spoofed Touch ID by taking a high-resolution photo of the users fingerprint and inverting the image, which is then printed onto a transparent sheet, using a thick toner. A thin layer of wood glue or pink latex milk was then poured over the printed image. Once dried, a thin layer of latex is created that can be used as a fingerprint.

“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,” a hacker nicknamed Starbug, who performed the test, saidon the group’s blog. “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.”

The team photographed the fingerprint at an extremely high resolution of 2,400 dots per inch and printed the inverted image at 1,200 dpi. By comparison, a typical online photo is about 72 dpi, while print images are typically 300 dpi. Apple uses a 500 dpi fingerprint sensor.

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