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Oops: iPhone 5s biometric ID has been compromised

03
Oct
2013

Apple’s new iPhone 5s device keeps on being tested all over the place. Only few days after discovering a loophole in its lock-screen, a new bypass was found.

One of the most interesting features introduced in the new iPhone is the biometric lock mechanism, which the company called – ‘Touch ID’. This is a mechanism that allows users to unlock the screen using their fingerprint recognition, to add another layer of security to information contained on the device, especially when the device is lost or stolen.

In a video posted on Youtube, a group of hackers demonstrated how to break the biometric security mechanism in the new iPhone:

The group is considered Europe’s largest hackers organization, which calls itself ‘Chaos Computer Club’, released the video that shows how to successfully bypass the biometric identification mechanism in the new iPhone 5s, which should theoretically identify only the user’s fingerprint. Fortunately for users, it is a complicated hacking method that probably will not be commonly used.

In practice, the mechanism does not check the external fingerprint of the user, instead it checks one of the sub skin layers, so any attempt to mimic horror movies and cut the fingers of users, or get the fingerprint out of a glass of wine will not work, or so this seems.

The hackers group managed to unlock the screen of the new iPhone using a different finger than the original user. The short video shows how the user defines his fingerprint, use it to unlock the device, locks it again and then use what looks like a scotch tape that manages to unlock the device once more.

The good news is the process is actually much more complicated than it appears in the video. It requires a lot of preparation ahead. The hackers group’s official website explains how they did it, step by step.

This process will work on virtually any biometric locking mechanism existing in the market. It’s a long and complicated process that doesn’t worth doing just to steal an iPhones (unless it’s made out of gold).

Bottom line, it seems that Apple can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now, since the biometric lock mechanism is still safer than the regular lock code mechanism of other devices.

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