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Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

Anyone can touch your phone and make it give up its all

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Well, that lasted a long time: the Chaos Computer Club has already broken Apple's TouchID fingerprint lock, and warns owners against using biometric ID to protect their data.

As the group explains here, it seems that the main advance in Cupertino's biometrics was that it uses a high resolution fingerprint scan. The post states:

A lot of bogus speculation about the marvels of the new technology and how hard to defeat it supposedly is had dominated the international technology press for days.

"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 the hacker with the nickname Starbug, who performed the critical experiments that led to the successful circumvention of the fingerprint locking.

All the CCC needed to defeat the scanner was an image of a user's fingerprint at 2,400 dpi resolution. That scan was “cleaned up”, inverted, and printed into a transparent sheet. The image of the print is then lifted from the sheet using latex milk or woodglue.

“After it cures, the thin latex sheet is lifted from the sheet, breathed on to make it a tiny bit moist and then placed onto the sensor to unlock the phone,” the post states, adding that this technique can be used against “the vast majority” of fingerprint scanners.

At the time of writing, the CCC hadn't announced whether it will claim any of the prizes on offer for a successful attack.

The video below demonstrates the attack. ®

Watch Video

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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