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Hackers bypass iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint sensor using "easy everyday means"

Ashleigh Allsopp | Sept. 25, 2013
German hacking group post video of iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor "defeat" after using "fake finger" to unlock phone

iPhone 5s

Hackers in Germany claim to have already managed to bypass Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology found in the iPhone 5s.

Chaos Computer Club (CCC) on Sunday took to its website to reveal that it had used "easy everyday means" to bypass the fingerprint sensor and access a locked iPhone 5s.

CCC claims to have photographed the fingerprint of the owner of the iPhone 5s from a glass surface and used that photo to create a "fake finger" that could unlock the iPhone.

The hackers have posted a video to YouTube showing how they bypassed the Touch ID sensor, too.

"In reality, Apple's sensor is just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake," a CCC hacker nicknamed Starbug explains on the group's website. "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."

It's worth noting that, while the process of bypassing the fingerprint sensor is indeed doable, it does require a high-quality fingerprint (from the right finger, too) that may be difficult to obtain. Plus, CCC doesn't mention the Find My iPhone feature, which allows iPhone users to remotely wipe their lost or stolen iPhone.

 

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