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Apple's iPhone 5s fingerprint reader is hacking challenge

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Sep 2013 21:22 User comments (4)

Apple's iPhone 5s fingerprint reader is hacking challenge Apple's TouchID fingerprint reader and authentication system will be a fun challenge for hackers after the launching of a crowd-funding effort to provide motivation. has been launched by security researcher Nick Depetrillo and Robert David Graham, listing pledges from Twitter users to provide money (including BitCoin) and other prizes - like a bottle of wine and a "dirty sex book" - for whoever can demonstrate a working hack of the feature.

In order to be in with a shout of getting some rewards, the hacker will need to provide proof of a method to break into an iPhone 5s by lifting prints from other surfaces, like a glass, and using it somehow for authentication.

Fingerprint scanners have been defeated quite easily in the past. Mythbusters even beat one by simply printing out a finger print and using the print-out.

Apple insists however that TouchID is special, claiming it can't even be beaten by severed finger.

According to comments given to Forbes, Depetrillo decided to go ahead with this challenge because he has so much faith in the TouchID system not to be easily beaten, but that being proven wrong will be a "pleasant surprise."

Of course, pledges made by Twitter users aren't set in stone, but the largest pledge so far came from Arturas Rosenbacher of IOCapital, which has put up $10,000 for the first person to break TouchID.

Happy Hacking!!

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4 user comments

119.9.2013 21:31

Just proved Apple wrong. I lopped off my finger and was able to gain access to my iPhone lol

219.9.2013 21:46

& you made a bloody mess of it too.

320.9.2013 10:47

Sigh. The finger print scanner is subdermal. It doesn't 'just' look at the surface oil finger print. It looks at several subdermal markers under neath the skin using an infrared scanner.

I'd be 'very' surprised if anyone could hack the TouchID within the next 12 months.

420.9.2013 11:12

Thats obviously a marketing scam thats designed not to pay, they state you must demonstrate it working by lifting a fingerprint from another surface to be able to demonstrate the hack. Its a sub dermal scanner and even if you do have a working bypass you could never meet their cryteria which would be fitting a standard surface only scanner. No one will ever get a payout from this. Although i assume using an exisiting sub dermal scanner and a 3d printer setup with the right doped gels it would be potentially possible to do.

Updated, it would appear it has been hacked:

and whats more if its true its not sub dermal at all..!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Sep 2013 @ 8:32

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