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Hackers Offer Crowdfunded Bounty To Crack Apple's TouchID For The iPhone 5S

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News Posted: Thu, Sep 19 2013 2:46 PM

When Apple unveiled its iPhone 5C and 5S last week, one of the standout features belonged to the latter: Fingerprint security. In effect, instead of having to type in a quick password to gain access to your phone, the built-in fingerprint reader would allow you to press your thumb or finger against the phone's main button and then gain access even quicker. This kind of technology isn't new, but Apple's implementation is likely to be one of the most attractive implementations - it's essentially invisible.

The problem with such security, though, is that if someone can manage to replicate your fingerprint perfectly, they could theoretically gain access to your device. We've seen this sort of thing done in movies a hundred times, but to my knowledge there hasn't been a realistic way to replicate this breach of security in real-life.

A couple of security experts, Robert David Graham and Nick Depetrillo, want to see if such a breach could in fact become reality, and are doing so with the help of a website dubbed "IsTouchIDHackedYet.com". Here, a cash pot is slowly being built-up by the community as an enticement to anyone out there who's willing to take this challenge on.

"the following have offered a reward to the first person who can reliably and repeatedly break into an iPhone 5s by lifting prints (like from a beer mug)" reads the website.

In order to get in on the donation action, you can post a cash value (Bitcoin counts) on Twitter using the hashtag #istouchidhackedyet, although it must be mentioned that a $50 minimum donation is recommended. Unfortunately, there's no word on how the donations are actually going to be verified, so it seems likely that anyone could put in a donation with no intention of fulfilling it. You don't even have to donate money - some have tossed in a free patent for the hack, "a bottle of my favourite Argentine wine" and probably my favorite, "Maker's Mark, one bottle".

If you have a lot of time to kill - and an iPhone 5S - maybe this challenge is right up your alley?

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Chicken scissors?

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RWilliams replied on Thu, Sep 19 2013 4:57 PM

That screenshot is unfortunately broken!

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ErazmusNZ replied on Thu, Sep 19 2013 5:14 PM

RE: to my knowledge there hasn't been a realistic way to replicate this breach of security in real-life.

Im pretty sure I've seen an episode of mythbusters in which they were able to fool all manner of finger-print scanners with some fairly mundane methods.

I don't think it will take long for someone to come up with a way. Apple advice will be to wear the new iGlove ofc :D

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RWilliams replied on Thu, Sep 19 2013 5:45 PM

Ahh, that's interesting. I do know there have been proof-of-concepts where people have gotten through face-scanning technology by simply holding a photo up to the webcam, but not fingerprint readers.

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Sep 19 2013 9:33 PM

Nice find SD!

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digitaldd replied on Fri, Sep 20 2013 9:11 AM

I have a couple ideas for this.. Collect fingerprint(s) using any means you can. (glass, tape, etc..). I was thinking of 3D printinga finger but it would have to be capacitive so only something that works on the touch screen would work so how about finding the korean sausages they used as iphone styluses? 

 

http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/11/south-korean-iphone-users-turn-to-sausages-as-a-cold-weather-me/

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digitaldd replied on Tue, Sep 24 2013 11:27 AM

If the Chaos Computer Club videos are to be believed the iPhone fingerprint scanner was beaten with tape.

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