Chaos Computer Club (CCC), a hacker’s community from Germany, has successfully hacked into the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint security system, according to various sources.
The elaborate bypass method, which is said to have taken only a few days to figure out, involves a number of intricate steps: First, the CCC would obtain a high-quality photograph of a person’s fingerprint (at a resolution of 2400 dpi), which is then cleaned up, inverted, and laser printed onto a transparent sheet with “high tonal settings.” Materials such as pink latex milk and white wood glue are then smeared all over the sheet’s surface –particularly around the regions where the original finger pattern had been formed— and once dried and lifted off, becomes an effective “fingerprint” capable of tricking the 5S’s Touch ID system into unlocking. The complete video covering the aforementioned procedures, along with proof of the fake latex print’s success in bypassing Apple’s biometrics system, can be viewed here (at CCC’s official website).
One interesting issue worth looking into, at this point, is whether the 5S’s Touch ID can be trusted now that organizations such as CCC are devising viable methods to undermine its legitimacy. Various notable tech observers —among them ZDNET’s Ed Bott— have indicated that it’s too early to fret or worry over such issues, given that it’s relatively uncommon for people to actually have access to the technical tools and know how to implement the abovementioned procedures. Apple’s biometrics sensory component, it is worth mentioning, is also technically more advanced than the traditional “optics” based sensors on the market, which tend to be more susceptible to lower quality photocopied fingerprints and easily tricked by the use of fake “gelatin fingers.”
A bit of caution and prudence, all in all, is still advised for all the would-be iPhone 5S users out there. Following the release of the new iPhone, numerous anecdotes have surfaced online showing creative ways to get past the Apple’s biometrics system. These range from using a pet’s paw to unlock an iPhone to taking advantage of a sleeping person’s finger.