Concerns over security of iPhone fingerprint recognition

24th September 2013

Hot on the heels of the release of Apple's iPhone 5S last Friday in a wave of publicity, doubts are being cast over the level of security offered by its ID Touch fingerprint recognition device.

For information and advice on keeping your smartphone or tablet physically secure, click here.

First, US Senator Al Franken said the fingerprint system on the new model could compromise users' privacy if someone does eventually hack it. Explaining his concerns, the senator said that whilst a password can be kept a secret and changed if hacked, fingerprints are permanent and are left on everything a person touches,

Now, a group of German hackers has found a way to bypass the fingerprint reader, supporting their claim that fingerprint biometrics is an unsuitable means of access control.

Our advice is that whilst ID Touch is a convenient way for everyday users to access their device and make purchases from the App Store without having to remember PINs and passwords, it should not be relied on if their phones contain sensitive data.

The new phone and its iOS 7 software have also been the subject of several other security concerns. One Spanish user found a security vulnerability in the new software that allows anyone to bypass its lock screen in a matter of seconds, enabling them to gain access. And a user in Palestine was able to make a call to any number from a locked iPhone running iOS 7 by exploiting a glitch in its emergency calling function.

Apple has sold nine million of its new iPhone 5S and cheaper 5C models in three days, beating previous new model launches.

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