Apple could be bruised by latest claims about Touch ID fingerprint security in iPhone 5s

23 Sep 2013

The Apple cart has been rocked by claims by a group calling itself the Chaos Computer Club, which says it is possible to bypass Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor with a photo of the original user’s fingerprint possibly gleaned from a beer glass.

As well as a new A7 processor that brings 64-bit computing power to the mobile form factor for the first time, one of the stand-out features of Apple’s new iPhone 5s is that it comes with a fingerprint sensor called Touch ID which can be used to unlock the iPhone, as well as make secure purchases on iTunes and via other apps.

However, the claims by the Chaos Computer Club – if proven to be accurate – could be very damaging for Apple.

Chaos Computer Club says: “First, the fingerprint of the enrolled user is photographed with 2,400 dpi resolution. The resulting image is then cleaned up, inverted and laser printed with 1,200 dpi onto transparent sheet with a thick toner setting.

“Finally, pink latex milk or white wood glue is smeared into the pattern created by the toner onto the transparent sheet. After it cures, the thin latex sheet is lifted from the sheet, breathed on to make it a tiny bit moist and then placed onto the sensor to unlock the phone. This process has been used with minor refinements and variations against the vast majority of fingerprint sensors on the market.”


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years