Is the Apple 5S iPhone’s Fingerprint Technology Secure?

26 Sep

Apple has widely touted the new fingerprint login technology for its recently released iPhone 5S.

But there are many questions over how secure the technology is. For example, hackers in Germany already claim to have discovered how to create a fake finger to beat the security.

And in a report for the UK’s Independent, Heather Saul notes that:

“A U.S. senator has voiced his concerns over the security of fingerprint recognition technology used in Apple’s new iPhone 5S, arguing that the tool raises ‘substantial privacy questions.’ In an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senator Al Franken addressed a series of questions to the company regarding security issues with Apple Touch ID. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on privacy, technology, and the law argues that if a hacker were to get hold of a fingerprint, they can use it to impersonate the owner’s identity for the rest of their life. In his letter, he writes: ‘Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent.'”

Click the image to read more. What do YOU think?
 

 

16 Responses to “Is the Apple 5S iPhone’s Fingerprint Technology Secure?”

  1. Rosalie Hume September 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Having one’s IPhone secured by a fingerprint seems like a very creative idea but when it comes down to it, it does raise a serious security issue. I think the consumer needs to do research before buying a product like this in that there is a possibility that one’s fingerprint data could be extracted, or the fingerprint could be getting sent to the another party as indicated in the article. There is a lot of information that we consumers put onto your phones however letting our smartphones record out fingerprint is a bit excessive.

  2. harvardbenefits September 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Reblogged this on Harvard Benefits.

  3. Danielle Bradle September 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Apples new iPhone finger print technology is definitely a popular topic of discussion since the iphones release. This new feature makes a large amount of apple product consumers want to purchase the latest iPhone. After hearing about the possible security issues however i believe that many people will be hesitant to purchase this new product. At the same time though ones identity is always at risk of being stolen so some people might not see these hackers as a huge threat that will stop them form purchasing the product.

  4. McKen-Z Turnyr Leong September 28, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Reading this article really makes me think if I really want this new iPhone. I think that everyone should be a bit concerned about the new technology. Before I had never really thought about the difference between a password and the fingerprint but it’s true that you can always change a password but you fingerprint is permanent. So if someone could hack this new technology then could potentially have my information forever. What makes me really wary is the fact that, that hackers website already has a competition to break into this new technology. I’m definitely going to have to learn more about this new iPhone if I choose to purchase it.

  5. Chelsey Fuller September 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    It is definitely appealing to the public to add such a high-tech feature but at the same time it is a very risky high-tech feature. With all the genius people out there it is only a matter of time before they figure out a way to break through it, like the German’s already claimed they have. I can’t help but agree with the fact that passwords are more private and secure. I think Apple needs to research and make better this feature because only more problems with come up as time goes on. Personally I’d never get this phone only because of the security faults. Yes, it’s be pretty darn sweet to have your finger scanned into your phone but if someone can hack this then it is definitely not worth my money!

  6. Tory Broytman September 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Reading this article definitely interested me because I’m a huge fan of the iPhone, and I’m always upgrading my phone to the next best one. The article focuses on the flaws of the fingerprint technology ID. Reading that the finger print isn’t secure because a hacker can easily duplicate your fingerprint and impersonate you isn’t a settling thought. This leads me to believe that Apple really didn’t think this feature through as well as they should have. It is possible that Apple got carried away with the idea of the fingerprint,thinking it would be a fun, new feature, instead of perfecting the safety of it before releasing the iPhone 5s. As more and more people buy the iPhone 5s, Apple will have to really listen to their customers’ feedback and go from there.

  7. ij28 September 29, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    When I first texted my dad to tell him that the new iphone had fingerprint scanning instead of password, he joked that he hoped no one would cut his finger off instead of just stealing his phone. It’s exaggerating, but if stealing someone’s fingerprint is the only way to get into the phone, this could open doors to new chaos. Not only in the U.S, but other countries where iphones are stolen. Something crazy could happen. Then again, the fingerprint scanning makes phones safer than just stealing someone’s password, and if someone has your fingerprint then you really should have bigger worries than people hacking on to your phone. I think the concern is that the iphone’s new technology provides motivation to steal fingerprints. I think Apple will come up with something to fix this situation. I don’t know what, but I think this is going to bother a big crowd and this could potentially hurt them.

  8. Jacqueline Gallagher September 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Personally, I think that the fingerprint for a device such as a phone is secure enough. But, that also depends on whose phone it is. Yes, for the President, who is an icon for the world, who people might put time and effort into trying to copy his fingerprint for such a thing it might not be the smartest idea. But, for an average, everyday person like me, I do not see the big deal or how it is not secure enough for a phone.

  9. Brittany S. September 30, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    I also agree with Jacqueline. I think that for certain individuals, it is not secure enough. Yet I doubt someone is going to develop a fake finger to hack my phone. Plus, I feel like it is harder to generate a fake finger than it is to figure out someone’s passcode. My passcode gets hacked way too often, so I am excited for this new feature.

  10. Alex Seminara September 30, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I feel like the fingerprint addition to the new iPhone5s is very risky, especially when we consider that they did not need to add it. Apple used the fingerprint reader as a unique feature to try to market the product and make the phone stand out amongst its competitors. They could have just used their standard security measures that they use on their other phones. Instead, they risk the security of many people and use the fingerprint. In an age where there are hackers everywhere for everything, I feel like it is a very risky proposition for Apple

  11. Peter Casale September 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    To be honest, I believe that the fingerprint technology is a cool thing for the iPhone to do. However, it can be hacked by someone and they may get a hold of your fingerprint. At the end of the day I know that I hardly have anything that requires my fingerprint so the iPhone would be the first. I doubt that a hacker is going to go out of their way to steal my finger print and then steal my phone. If anything, certain HP laptops are registered to the person, and many people use the finger print scanners that are on those laptops as well. HP has actually had the fingerprint technology for years, and there has never been real threats to stealing one’s fingerprint and hacking those systems. We live in a technological era, in which if a hacker was going to go out of their way to hack your technology, a fingerprint is not going to stop them. In conclusion, I just think that the finger print scanner is a cool idea and a great way to advertise the new iPhone. I wouldn’t buy it just because I am not a fan of iPhone products but good for them.

  12. Neil Schloth October 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    What everyone forgets to realize is how significant Apple’s implementation of biometric technology is on the market.

    Apple has been notorious as a company that takes an idea others have already pursed with little to no success, perfecting the technology, and create a new market for it. For example, walkmans, cassette players, and CD players were popular in the 80’s and 90’s, but it wasn’t until Apple unveiled the iPod in the early 2000’s that a new global market was born for digital media players. Smartphones with internet access existed before the iPhone, but it wasn’t until 2007 that Samsung, LG, Google and Motorola decided they would design and manufacture devices of their own. The same goes for the global tablet marketing, and even a natural-language processing personal assistant like Siri (Google Now.)

    Apple has no doubt established itself as a trend-setter in the tech industry, and the inclusion of fingerprint biometric technology in the latest iPhone 5S model marks the inception of a new feature we can look forward to being implemented by other tech-companies by Q1 2014.

    As for the security of the feature itself, Apple has insisted that the fingerprints themselves as not stored in iCloud, nor are they ever transmitted out of the device itself. The company claims to store the data solely within the device itself, inside an encrypted section of its A7 processing chip that does not share the data with any other 3rd party services or apps. Should this prove to be the case, Apple may have done quality work ensuring user data is not comprised. However, as demonstrated by the German hacking group known as the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), one may be able to lift someone else’s finger print, and trick the sensor into thinking you are authorized the access the device. However, this is a known issue with fingerprint scanning technologies in general, and will certainly not be a problem specific to Apple iPhone 5S users.

  13. Morgan Pesciotta October 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    I think that just having the fingerprint scanner as the security on the new iphone would be a big mistake, but since there is also the lock screen with the four digit code I do not think that it is as big of a deal. If someone is going to hack into a phone they would know how to get past another type of security feature as well. If someone was to get ahold of your fingerprint though it would allow them to access a lot of information that is meant to be private. So while I think that the idea of having to just scan your fingerprint is cool, I also think that the right steps were made in order to have other security features as well.

  14. Stephen Campana October 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    The idea of this security is an innovative one…on paper. I don’t necessarily believe that think the problem is that it isn’t safe, rather than the fact that there may be false readings. I have my doubts that, when using this fingerprint technology, there is never going to be a problem. Whether that problem be hackers, or just software malfunction, either way this technology is not as great as it sounds.
    I do, however, believe it is safer in comparison to the current lock on the IPhone. I have had to change my password multiple times so my mom doesn’t break into my phone to try and see who I am texting and if I am up to no good.

  15. Matt June 10, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    Keep on working, great job!

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  1. Is the Apple 5S iPhone's Fingerprint Technology... - September 26, 2013

    […] Apple has widely touted the new fingerprint login technology for its recently released iPhone 5S. But there are many questions over how secure the technology is. For example, hackers in Germany alr…  […]

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