How they hacked the iPhone 5s TouchID

It took months of research and development for Apple to finalize their much-anticipated TouchID biometric security system on the new iPhone 5s. It took half of a weekend for Chaos Computer Club to hack it. Here’s how they did it.

Touch-what?

You know, the fingerprint sensor built into the Home button on the new iPhone 5s. It’s for unlocking the handset and buying stuff through iTunes and the App Store.

I thought the fingerprint was stored in some secure chip. How’d it get hacked?

It is, and this isn’t a hardcore technological hack so much as a good old-fashioned fake fingerprint technique. You find the iPhone owner’s print somewhere (the device itself may carry a few on its glossy surfaces), put some powder on it to make it more visible, then photograph or scan it at high resolution. Clean up the reversed image, print it at high resolution using thick ink, then use that to make a thin latex dummy, which you can put on your finger and use to unlock the iPhone.

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