A group known as the Chaos Computer Club has hacked Apple’s Touch ID System. The fact that they have broken through the security of the fingerprint authentication system shows the fallibility of Apple’s latest technology.
All that is needed is a copy of the user’s original fingerprint. After that it is possible to hack his or her iPhone 5S. The fingerprint Touch ID system turned out to be a weak fortress of sorts. After the Chaos Computer Club aired its findings in a how-to video that showed just such a thing happening, the finger pointing has already begun at Apple for thinking of the public as a bunch of fools.
According to the Club’s members the first step is to take a picture of the fingerprint with a high resolution camera. Next, the picture is prepared and transferred on to a clear sheet. Finally, thin latex or white wood glue is employed to get a cast of the fingerprint. This is then saturated with water vapor and placed on the ID System. And the iPhone 5S gets unlocked.
Frank Rieger, spokesperson of the CCC said, "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. 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." Fingerprint biometrics in passports has been introduced in many countries despite the fact that by this global roll-out no security gain can be shown.
While the average person may not face such threats of hacking, nevertheless it remains a potential security glitch in the system. Furthermore, there are issues having to do with privacy invasion. These have been raised by Senator Al Franken in an open letter to Apple CEO, Tim Cook. The Chaos Computer Club consists of a group of German hackers and their claim carries weight. Apple should have been more careful when it made its radical claims regarding the Touch ID System.