How to beat fingerprint scanners [VIDEO]

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

The announcement of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the new Apple iPhone 5S is all set to take biometric protection into the mainstream.

But how well can fingerprint sensors be defeated? We’ve all seen biometric systems defeated in Hollywood action movies, but can it be done and just how easy it?

Fortunately the guys at MythBusters have already answered that question.

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Of course, that’s quite a lot of effort – and almost certainly far much more than the typical smartphone mugger is ever going to go to.

And we don’t know yet how successful such a technique would be against the iPhone 5S, because no-one owns one yet!

But it’s an important reminder to everyone that fingerprints are not private, you leave them lying around everywhere, and if someone has enough incentive – and the resources available to them – they may try to defeat any security system that you trust your fingerprint to unlock.

One thing is for sure. With the launch of the iPhone 5S, more people will be using fingerprint sensors as part of their daily security than ever before – and the hackers will be certainly intrigued to see how they might circumvent it.

Further reading: Touch ID: Apple’s iPhone fingerprint sensor FAQ

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

One comment on “How to beat fingerprint scanners [VIDEO]”

  1. Seems mostly a good thing to me. If you're used to using a pin then you can use both for added security, if you don't use anything then this is an improvement. My preferred setup would have some apps available via the fingerprint (see basic notifications, check my train times etc) and others locked by the pin (email, phone settings etc..).

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