By Shane Wilson
Following on from last week’s attempt by Apple to popularise finger print based security on mobile phones as “a convenient and highly secure way to access your phone,” comes the news that hackers have already broken the Apple system. You can see our blog from last week on the pros and cons of fingerprint technology here.
Claims that the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor could not be fooled compared to other lesser fingerprint sensors has been disproved by German hackers the Chaos Computer Club. Their video claims that the sensor is no different to others. Though running at a higher resolution, it can still be fooled just the same.
A fingerprint of the phone user, photographed from a glass surface, was enough to create a fake finger that could unlock an iPhone 5s secured with TouchID. The hack process is somewhat more complex than lifting a print with sticky tape – which was how many early fingerprint based log in systems could be circumvented. Mixing high resolution photography, laser printing and wood glue is more ‘Mission Impossible’ than your average mugger is likely to want to bother with, but if a mobile contains business critical data, or personal banking data, then it is clear that the phone remains vulnerable if the intent is to hack the device for additional fraudulent activity.