Every iPhone is released with a “killer app” which is supposed to justify its purchase, however, for some reason these don’t tend to work as advertised. First there was Siri, then there was Apple Maps and now the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint security system turns out about as secure as Woody Allen.
The hack was managed by the German group Chaos Computer Club (CCC).
Writing in its blog, the group said that a fingerprint of the phone user, photographed from a glass surface, is all you need to unlock an iPhone 5S secured with Touch ID.
The hack, discovered by CCC member Starbug, uses household materials. All you need to do is take a snap of the user’s fingerprint in 2,400 dpi resolution.
The image then needs to inverted and laser printed on to a transparent sheet in 1,200 dpi resolution and thick toner setting.
Then you use PVA glue to create a mould by spreading it onto the transparent sheet and letting it dry. Breathe on the mould for moisture and place it on the sensor to unlock the phone and you own the fanboy’s Coldplay collection.
What is particular cool for the hacker is that they only have to do it once: because you cannot change your fingerprint, it means that the hacker can use it until you stop thinking that fingerprint technology is a good idea.
CCC spokesperson Frank Rieger said that the hack puts to rest the illusions people have about fingerprint biometrics.
“It is plain stupid to use something that you can´t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token,” he added.
This is the second thing to go wrong for Apple’s killer app. Last week it was revealed that there was a bug in the Control Centre on the newly released iOS 7, which could leave the iPhone 5S open despite the fingerprint scanner.