The new iPhone 5’s fingerprint ID security feature lasted all of what amounts to not even five minutes in the tech world — Chaos Computer Club is already reporting that they were able to hack the new phone:
The biometrics hacking team of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has successfully bypassed the biometric security of Apple’s TouchID using easy everyday means. A fingerprint of the phone user, photographed from a glass surface, was enough to create a fake finger that could unlock an iPhone 5s secured with TouchID. This demonstrates – again – that fingerprint biometrics is unsuitable as access control method and should be avoided. [emphasis added]
Essentially, using the same kind of basic tricks you’d find in an old Mission: Impossible episode, these trendy new biometric systems can be easily thwarted. And don’t forget, as security measures get more and more sophisticated (read: more and more personally invasive), criminals will simply get more and more sophisticated to keep up with the times as has been the case since time immemorial.
If all the new security coming in the high-tech control grid currently building built up all around us is truly warranted because non-invasive features like passwords are so simple and passé, how come biometrics are just as easy (if not easier) to beat?
And easy-to-beat they are. At the 2012 Black Hat hackers conference, hackers were able to successfully demonstrate a program that could easily fool iris scan security systems using recreated irises from images stored in existing iris scan databases. Guess that’s a lot better than in Hollywood movies where people steal an actual person’s eyeball or other body part to get past security, although that future may be on our horizon also as biometrics takes over.
While it starts with some trendy new technology to get everyone really jazzed about biometrics, the iPhone is only the beginning. Pretty soon these kinds of security measures will be everywhere in a Big Brother dream come true. Schools across the country are already acclimating children to grow up thinking such systems are a normal part of their everyday lives, with palm scanners or fingerprint IDs as payment systems in school cafeterias; the Department of Homeland Security is even testing their new facial recognition software at a junior ice hockey game this weekend.
Here’s a video of the iPhone 5 hack: