Germans fool iPhone 5s Touch ID with fake finger

A German collective has managed to trick the fingerprint reader built into the iPhone 5s with a fake finger.

The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) pulled off the stunt by photographing the fingerprint of an iPhone 5S owner at a resolution of 2,400 dpi.

This was then inverted and then laser printed onto a transparency using a thick layer of toner. Latex milk was then painted over the print out, and peeled off to create a dummy fingerprint. This was then draped over the home button to fool the sensor.

The group described the iPhone’s fingerprint reader as “unsuitable” for authentication and said it “should be avoided” after successfully fooling Apple’s reader.

“We hope that this finally puts to rest the illusions people have about fingerprint biometrics,” added a spokesperson. “It is plain stupid to use something that you can´t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token.”

However, it should be noted that not only would a would-be thief need to first identify the correct fingerprint of the user, but capture it successfully with a high-resolution photograph and then hope nothing went awry in the intricate printing/modelling process. Compared to the four-digit passcode, it remains the more secure option.

Apple hasn’t commented on the hack, although the company’s website boasts that “your fingerprint is one of the best passcodes in the world”.

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