The Chaos Computer Club (CCC), one of the largest and most respected hacking groups in the world, successfully hacked Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S and unlocked the new gadget. The group of German hackers announced the hack less than 48 hours after the smartphone was released worldwide.
The club posted a video on its website that provided details of the method to unlock the iPhone using the fake finger. They also posted a description of the technique in a news release on Saturday (September 21, 2013). The CCC said that their biometric hacking team took a fingerprint of the phone user, photographed from a glass surface, and created a fake finger. This fake fingerprint could be put onto a thin film and used with a real finger to unlock an iPhone 5S secured with Touch ID.
The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) found a way to bypass Apple’s Touch ID, the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner on Sunday (September 22, 2013).
The method is not new because it has been known for years. The only difference with Apple’s fingerprint sensor is that it simply has a higher resolution than previous sensors, so all the club needed to do was ramping up the resolution of its fake.
"We hope that this finally 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", spokesperson for the CCC said Frank Rieger said. "The public should no longer be fooled by the biometrics industry with false security claims. Biometrics is fundamentally a technology designed for oppression and control, not for securing everyday device access."
Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the hack.
Users could choose to use up to five fingerprints - which can be changed - to unlock the phone 5S.
Apple promised that the fingerprint scanner would better protect devices from criminals and snoopers seeking access.
Apple’s Touch ID was hacked just two days after the company’s new iPhones went on sale.