When iPhone first announced the new fingerprint scanning feature of it's high-class iPhone 5S, many speculated about the various ways this security system might actually be insecure. Now, with the new phone finally in the hands of millions, an old trick has proved able to bypass the security feature.
A customer configures the fingerprint scanner technology built into iPhone 5S at an Apple store in Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. A German hacking group found out how to trick this system without the proper user's fingerprint, cautioning iPhone owners against thinking the biometric scanner's security. (Photo: AP/Andy Wong)
A German hacking group claimed to fool the biometic sensor, tricking it with a fingerprint created with a household printer and wood glue.
Dirk Engling with the group Chaos Computer Club (CCC) told The Associated Press on Monday that the exploit has been documented with several videos so independent experts can verify it.
With the vulnerability, the CCC wrote on its blog "that fingerprint biometrics is unsuitable as access control method and should be avoided."
"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", the hacker nicknamed Starbug said, according to the CCC blog post. "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."
Here you can watch the hack:
CCC spokesperson Frank Rieger said on the blog that the group hopes this "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," Rieger continued.
On Monday Apple said 9 million of the new iPhone 5S and cheaper 5C were sold since Friday, making it the company's strongest launch to date.
The company said demand for iPhone 5s has exceeded the initial supply, but many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks.
Wall Street hadn't been as enthusiastic about the new models, which were unveiled earlier this month.
Shares of Apple gained $28.10, or 6 percent, to $495.51 in premarket trading. The Cupertino, Calif., company's stock is down about 12 percent in 2013 and has lost almost third of its value over the last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.