It has been just a couple of days since Apple's new iPhone 5S was released in major markets across the globe. Now, the Cupertino company is faced with an embarrassment after a hacker group breached the 'Touch ID' of iPhone 5S' fingerprint scanner system
Reuters/Edgar Su A promoter demonstrates the fingerprint scanner feature of the newly launched Apple iPhone 5S in Singapore September 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Edgar Su
The report comes just days after a venture capitalist Arturas Rosenbacher and a group of security researchers began the campaign 'Is Touchid Hacked Yet' with cash prizes up to $13,000 (around ₹8,15,000), virtual money (bit coins) as well as books as incentive for those who can crack the fingerprint-based iPhone 5S security feature.
The self-proclaimed group, Chaos Computer Club (CCC), based in Germany have claimed that they have successfully unlocked the supposed highly secured 'Touch ID' with a semi-transparent latex mould embellished with a fake fingerprint.
The process involved taking a 2400 dpi (dots per inch) resolution photograph of a person's finger on a glass surface and then the image is cleaned up and inverted. The resultant picture is laser printed with 1200 dpi on to a transparent sheet with toner setting.
Once the copy is set, a semi-transparent latex milk (or white woodglue) is spread across the fingerprint image and left to cool to get hardened. Then, the latex mould is pulled from the sheet, coated with a few water drops to give it a moist look and then placed on the iPhone to unlock the screen.
"The public should no longer be fooled by the biometrics industry with false security claims. Biometrics is fundamentally a technology designed for oppression and control, not for securing everyday device access," said Frank Rieger, CCC spokesperson.
CCC hacker known by his virtual name, Starbug, has released a one-minute video of Apple iPhone 5S unlocking process using a thin piece of latex sheet.
Here is the video:
"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", said Starbug, the hacker who pulled this amazing feat.
"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," he added.
Soon after the news went viral, the website 'Is Touch ID Hacked Yet' which began the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner hacking contest said that it is waiting to receive the video from the German group. If satisfied with the authenticity of their (CCC hackers) claims, the website will give way the prize as promised