Despite tighter security features, the iPhone 6’s Touch ID fingerprint reader is still vulnerable to hacking using fake fingerprints just like its predecessor.
In a CNET article, Lookout Mobile Security’s chief security researcher Marc Rogers revealed that he was still able to hack the iPhone 6 by employing the same technique he used to hack the iPhone 5S.
“Sadly there has been little in the way of measurable improvement in the sensor between these two devices,” he said. “Fake fingerprints created using my previous technique were able to readily fool both devices.”
Rogers is one of the first security experts who managed to crack the Touch ID fingerprint reader by utilising a decade-old technique discovered by MIT engineering professor Tsunetomo Mastumoto. The professor discovered that fingers coated in a sticky substance such as glue could be used imitate fingerprints.
Despite the security flaw, Rogers reiterated that he is still a fan of Apple’s Touch ID system because cracking it requires patience, skill, and a good copy of an individual’s fingerprint. However, the company’s failure to address the problem has ruffled his feathers.
“AuthenTek [the firm behind the fingerprint reading technology] had scanners that were capable of looking deeper into the finger, so that they could look past a fake fingerprint. I would’ve liked to see that implemented,” said Rogers.
He pointed out that the system’s security flaws could become a major problem in the future because of the new Apple Pay system, which turns people’s smartphones into a type of credit card substitute that can be used to pay for goods and services.