Apple Gives Security The Finger
Only days after the launch of a $13,000 contest to successfully hack Apple's new iPhone fingerprint scanner, the Chaos Computer Club declared itself the winner. In a video and blog post, the European hacker collective said it could trick the scanner with high-resolution photos of fingerprints.
Though the club's victory is still not verified, the news seems to buttress Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn.) new letter to Apple executives that raises serious questions about iPhone technology and the use of biometrics as a substitute for passwords.
Before we go on, let me pause and personalize this with a germane confession. I'll just come out and admit it: this weekend I followed the screaming throngs and bought the new iPhone. No, I didn't purchase the device for the fingerprint scanner - my old phone was starting to shit itself every few hours, so I was merely looking to take advantage of a decent trade-in deal. But yeah, I initially used the fingerprint scanner without hesitation and with the giddiness of a kid brought up on sci-fi schlock.
Before you write me off as the typical technology-wowed rube who mindlessly ignores serious security questions, let me explain myself. It wasn’t that I didn't think about any privacy and security questions when I let my new gadget map my thumb. No, it was a considered risk. As the NSA is building skeleton keyholes into encryption protocols, which hackers are probably also able to exploit - I figured that the question of which particular way I happen to unlock my iPhone is probably the least of my security concerns.
To continue reading this Dispatch you must be a subscriber. Already a subscriber? Login now.