Hacker group develops method to circumvent iPhone Touch ID system (w/ Video)

September 23, 2013 by Bob Yirka report

(Phys.org) —A biometric hacking team known as Chaos Computer Club (CCC), has posted on its website, what it claims is an easy way to access an iPhone equipped with Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint scanning security system. The new technology allows users to unlock their phone by pressing their finger against the "home" button. The "hack" involves photographing a user's fingerprint, printing it on a laser printer, then using a filler to create a fake rubber-like fingertip with the user's fingerprint on it.

With the introduction of the lastest iPhone, the 5s, Apple has also introduced a new way to allow users to access their phones after it's been locked—using just their finger tips. It's easier than typing in a and Apple has been claiming in ads, the fingerprint is "highly" secure. That claim now appears to be in doubt as CCC demonstrates that a hacker willing to go to extreme lengths to unlock someone's iPhone, can do so, with a minimum amount of effort.

More specifically, CCC claims that to "hack" the phone, all a person needs to do is obtain the true owner's fingerprint on a pane of glass (they don't say if the phone screen itself can be used.) That fingerprint is photographed with a high resolution (2400 dpi) camera, cleaned up and inverted (presumably with PhotoShop) and then printed using a high resolution (1200 dpi) laser printer with the toner set to print thick. Next, liquid latex is poured into the printout and once dry is peeled off. The result is a rubber-like facsimile of the original user's , complete with an accurate representation of the fingerprint. When pressed against the home button on the iPhone, the phone recognizes it as the real McCoy and allows entry.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The technique wasn't discovered by the CCC of course, it's been used by other groups to circumvent other finger , but it is apparently effective as a means to circumvent Apple's latest security system. There is one caveat—Apple's OS doesn't allow the phone to be unlocked with a fingerprint if the hasn't been active in the past 48 hours, or if it's been reset, thus, the hack won't work if the hackers take too long with their efforts.

Explore further: Review: Slick iOS 7 shines on Apple's new iPhones (Update)

Related Stories

Review: Slick iOS 7 shines on Apple's new iPhones (Update)

September 11, 2013

One of the best things about Apple's latest iPhones is the slick new iOS 7 software that runs the devices. But that souped-up operating system could end up hurting sales because the free software upgrade will also work on ...

iPhone 5S fingerprint scanning: Thumbs up or down?

September 13, 2013

Technology to acquire and use biometric data such as fingerprints has been around for several decades and has made its way from forensic investigation to laptop computers – and now, with this week's introduction of iPhone ...

Apple's Touch ID: Time to come to grips with a touchy subject

September 16, 2013

Apple's latest and greatest – the iPhone 5s – met a muted reception last week in San Francisco. Although the device's admittedly evolutionary-not-revolutionary updates target early adopters and high-end consumers, industry ...

Review: iPhone fingerprint sensor worth extra cost

September 18, 2013

Passcodes are such a pain that I've relaxed the security settings on my Android phone. I'm willing to forgo the extra safety, just so I'm asked to punch in the code less often. When I got my hands on Apple's new iPhone 5S, ...

Recommended for you

Sydney makes its mark with electronic paper traffic signs

July 28, 2015

Visionect, which is in the business of helping companies build electronic paper display products, announced that Sydney has launched e-paper traffic signs. The traffic signage integrates displays from US manufacturer E Ink ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

EyeNStein
1 / 5 (6) Sep 23, 2013
This isn't really a 'hack' at all unless you can lift the owners prints off a stolen phone? In which case police finger printing kits will start appearing on Ebay.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Sep 23, 2013
The "hack" involves photographing a user's fingerprint, printing it on a laser printer, then using a filler to create a fake rubber-like fingertip with the user's fingerprint on it.

Looks exactly like th method they used a few years back to dupe the biometric scanners which were en vogue for laptops for a while.
Hardware (and software) manufacturers seem not to have learned a thing in the meantime.
Anda
not rated yet Sep 24, 2013
Ahahah embrace the new touch era! Beware your fingers :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.