iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint sensor has been bypassed by a German hacker, who claims the process was fairly easy. When Apple announced the new iPhone 5s with fingerprint scanning technology the security and reliability of the new feature was questioned by many.
Earlier this month we published an analysis of the new biometric sensor by a security technologist who said, “… someone with a good enough copy of your fingerprint and some rudimentary materials engineering capability — or maybe just a good enough printer — can authenticate his way into your iPhone”. His analysis has now been proved to be accurate as the hacker whose nickname is ‘Starbug’ described the entire process as “trivial”.
The tools used to bypass the Touch ID fingerprint sensor included scanning fingerprint from the front screen, high-res laser printer and printed circuit board etching kit. It took the hacker 30 hours for his first attempt but he claims that with proper setup the bypass can be accomplished within 30 minutes. The video shows the detailed process and even though the hacker claims the process is easy it does require skill, knowledge and experience to perform the hack.
iPhone 5s allows up-to 5 failed attempted and then locks the device with the fallback passcode. So, if someone manages to steal your iPhone, they would have only five trails to attempt a successful unlock. Also, it’s worth noting that Apple has included mandatory passcode unlock if the iPhone reboots or hasn’t been unlocked for 48 hours.
It is a well known fact that even the passcode can be bypassed using advanced software tools however, with the new activation lock thieves would possibly not be interested in stealing your phone. With activation lock the iPhone requires your Apple ID and password to turn off Find My iPhone, erase the device or reactivate and use the device.
Touch ID in the new iPhone 5s is an attempt by Apple to encourage more users to secure their device by setting a passcode yet not having to face the trouble to enter it again by again. You just place your finger over the home button and within 1-2 seconds the device unlocks.
Even though Apple’s Touch ID has been bypassed for the average user this shouldn’t be of much concern. Performing the hack to unlock the device would could still render the device useless without the Apple ID and password. The personal data can also be remote wiped anytime using Find My iPhone service.