German hackers claim to have cracked the fingerprint security feature of Apple's new iPhone 5S. If verified, the news would be highly embarrassing for the US electronics giant, which announced the phone two weeks ago.
One of the world's largest and most respected hacking groups, Germany's Chaos Computer Club (CCC), claims to have cracked Apple's iPhone fingerprint scanner technology, which the company had been advertising as a highly secure biometric feature that would reliably protect devices from criminals and snoopers seeking access to data.
CCC posted a video on its website showing somebody accessing an iPhone 5S with a fabricated print. The site explained how members of the hacking group's biometrics team defeated the fingerprint technology.
They said they cracked the Touch ID security feature by transferring a photograph of an iPhone user's fingerprint to a clear sheet and using it to create a mold for a fake finger.
Touch ID had only just been introduced by Apple for its latest model, letting users unlock their devices or make purchases in iTunes by simply pressing their fingers on the home button.
"Fingerprints should not be used to secure anything," CCC announced in a statement. "You leave them everywhere, and it's far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints."
Charlie Miller, co-author of the iOS Hacker's Handbook, described CCC's work as "a complete break" of Touch ID security. "It certainly opens up a new possibility for attackers," he added.
Apple representatives were not immediately available for a comment, the Reuters news agency reported Monday.
hg/mkg (Reuters, dpa)