A hacking group from Germany says it has discovered how to breach the biometrics security system of the new iPhone 5S.
A spokesman for the group, the Chaos Computer Club, said members took a photograph of a fingerprint on a glass surface and then made an image of a fake “finger” to unlock the phone, CNN reported. The group posted a YouTube video to televise the discovery.
The Touch ID biometric security was a much-touted Apple technological addition to the iPhone.
“We hope that this finally puts to rest the illusions people have about fingerprint biometrics,” said Frank Rieger, a spokesman for the Chaos Computer Club, in the CNN report. “It is plain stupid to use something that you can’t change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token.”
The hackers didn’t just snap any old photograph. They used a high-resolution imprint and then inverted it and made a copy via a laser printer and extra toner onto a transparent sheet. CNN said they then put pink latex milk onto the fingerprint pattern and lifted a copy of it using a latex sheet.
They then put the copycat print onto the phone sensor and unlocked it.
“As we have said now for … 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,” one of the club hackers said.
Apple did not provide CNN with a response.