iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner Attracts Hackers

SACRAMENTO (CBS SACRAMENTO) – With Apple’s release of the latest iPhone, hackers are plotting on how to break into the phone by lifting somebody else’s fingerprints and tricking the scanner to unlock the iPhone.

A crowdsourced bounty program, with each person’s reward and the conditions of the challenge, was launched Wednesday night on IsTouchIdHacketYet.com.

A Twitter conversation between security researchers Robert David Graham, Nick Depetrillo and Dan Kaminsky sparked the creation of the site which lists dozens of users who are offering rewards like cash, liquor and bitcoin to whoever can break into the phone.   

Depetrillo tweeted, “I will pay the first person who successfully lifts a print off the iPhone 5s screen, reproduces it and unlocks the phone in < 5 tries $100.” 

He also tweeted basic conditions for winning the prize: “Enroll print, Place it, lift it, reproduce it, use the reproduction to unlock the phone without being locked out. Video.”

Apple’s latest creation has Touch ID integrated in the phone and the scanner takes a picture of the user’s finger but also uses radio frequency scanning to detect a finger’s sub-epidermal layers to make sure the finger is alive. 

Arturas Rosenbacher, who is a founding partner at venture firm I/O Capital, pledged $10,000 to the contest and announced it via Twitter.

Rosenbacher stated the effort will bring together some of the hacking community’s smartest minds to help Apple identify bugs that it may have missed.

“This is to fix a problem before it becomes a problem,” Rosenbacher tweeted. “This will make things safer.”


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