Money, alcohol and a dirty sex book offered for iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor hack

The 5s now features a Touch ID sensor, in place of the iconic Home button.

Yes, it's not quite sex, drugs and rock & roll for whoever is the first to crack the fingerprint sensor, but over $2800 in cash and around $720 in Bitcoins, as well as various types of alcohol - and even a dirty sex book - are on offer. 

Sign me up!

The istouchidhackedyet site has put together a page allowing people to make the donations, and even asks for a minimum of $50 to be added (although this doesn't appear to be a requirement). So far around forty people have donated, making pledges via Twitter by using the #istouchidhackedyet hashtag.

The terms are simple, all you need to do is provide video evidence that a fingerprint can be lifted (from a beer glass for example) and be able to use that fingerprint to unlock the 5s within five attempts.

As you may know, the new security feature, which had been much hyped in rumours, is Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor built in to the home button, which replaces passwords around the whole system, including in the iTunes Store. It has a 500ppi resolution and 360 degree readability. It would allegedly be hard to 'hold it wrong'.

But can it be cracked before the 5s starts becoming widely available? Well, it's worth considering that the technology baked into the fingerprint sensor is more sophisticated than you may realise. In an article on CITEworld, Mary Branscombe explained: 

The sensors... can detect the ridge and valley pattern of your fingerprint not from the layer of dead skin on the outside of your finger (which a fake finger can easily replicate), but from the living layer of skin under the surface of your finger, using an RF signal. That only works on a live finger; not one that's been severed from your body. 

This will protect you from thieves trying to chop off your finger when they mug you for your phone (assuming they're tech-literate thieves, of course), as well as from people with fake fingers using the fingerprint they lifted from your phone screen."


Still, that's probably not going to stop people from trying - especially with the promise of booze, riches and naughty literature to motivate them. 

Source IBTimes | Image via Apple

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44 Comments

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I don't think cracking it will be the problem. If it is in-fact that sensitive, imagine you work with glue or other chemicals. Do you know what kind of a inconvenience it will be to actually use this? Not everyone with security concerns sits at a desk for 8 hours a day. I am not saying that for a percentage of people it wont work great, but not everyone has clean hands during a work day and it ends up being a gimmick that people outside of an office will never be able to use. Point: Otterbox fingerprint case. (unless they fixed that before I saw)
edit: point was.. no one will use it after the first week of having it if they dont have a computer desk at work.

Grow a lump of human tissue into the shape of a finger while pressing it against an etched inversion of the fingerprint you want to scan. Put grown finger against iPhone sensor.

Pretty easy, probably could get the lab material set up for about $20-40k.

NSA already has it ready and waiting.

ok, and with this new fingerprint scanner, whats to stop iPhone thieves from just doing a black restore on it?

That tech is for protecting personal data and purchases, NOT for theft prevention! If someone stoles your phone they usually wipe it and resell it, and they don't need your finger for that .. but oh well haters gonna hate ...

szo said,
The old methods of scraping a fingerprint from a glass surface and making a mold won't work, because you need live tissue for it to work. A cutoff finger won't work either.

Anandtech already disprove all of these old myths and they don't work with the Touch ID sensor.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/8

But no, it's just the same old tech that Apple claimed, somewhere in their presentation, that they invented LOL!!!

You just put the thin mold over your own finger. Face it. It's just an old novelty to sucker people into shelling out hundreds of dollars for the same phone as last year.

The funny thing is we've been laughing about how Apple types were going to go all nuts and say this old stuff was the best thing ever since they bought Authentec. So predictable.

Spicoli said,
You just put the thin mold over your own finger. Face it. It's just an old novelty to sucker people into shelling out hundreds of dollars for the same phone as last year.

The funny thing is we've been laughing about how Apple types were going to go all nuts and say this old stuff was the best thing ever since they bought Authentec. So predictable.

It doesn't work like that with this fingerprint sensor. Or are you that ignorant?

So its safer than a 4 pin code and easier to use? I believe Apple succeeded then.

There are articles online explaining the potential of this technology in the long run and it's benefits. Of course you can always listen to the whiners saying how, just like 64bit, it's useless and just a marketing scam.

stevan said,
So its safer than a 4 pin code and easier to use? I believe Apple succeeded then.

There are articles online explaining the potential of this technology in the long run and it's benefits. Of course you can always listen to the whiners saying how, just like 64bit, it's useless and just a marketing scam.

What technology? The old fingerpring scanners we've had for a good decade? Both my laptops and my old phone have them.

You should go read a review or two about Touch ID. You know, familiarize yourself with the feature and do some research before coming here and spewing garbage.

stevan said,
You should go read a review or two about Touch ID. You know, familiarize yourself with the feature and do some research before coming here and spewing garbage.

Okay, I'll take the resorting to the personal attack as admitting you lost the argument.

Spicoli said,

Okay, I'll take the resorting to the personal attack as admitting you lost the argument.

Does that mean you'll stop posting things that make no sense or proof?

I don't even own an Apple product, but can tell you already that you're being ridiculous to think any security measure is full-proof. The idea is that a fingerprint reader is much more out of the way and inconvenient than say, casually looking over one's shoulder, or even using your phone to record whatever they put in without the other person knowing.

"Hey man, what's the weather gonna be like tomorrow? My phone's acting up..."

*Have phone with video on, as if you're still trying to get your phone to work*

*record person as they go to access their phone*

Bam, now you have their code. Damn that was so much harder than making a mock fingerprint mold...

Spicoli said,

No, I will continue to post facts and laugh at Apple religious nuts.

Well, looking forward for something truthfull coming from your posts. Until then you'll be labeled as an Apple hater with zero proof.

they need to have device emulating/faking a finger's features:

- changeable 'print' layout
- proper heat
- blood pulse
- proper pressure

No, it doesn't need all that but watch the Mythbusters for how to easily make a fingerprint prosthetic. There's reasons we don't use these things in high security operations and those units are much more advanced than this phone toy.

Spicoli said,
No, it doesn't need all that but watch the Mythbusters for how to easily make a fingerprint prosthetic. There's reasons we don't use these things in high security operations and those units are much more advanced than this phone toy.

Dude get out of here and do some research. I get that you must have some deep loathing for Apple deciding to use their Touch ID tech... but what good does it do to spread false rumors?

Keep it to yourself.

Spicoli said,
No, it doesn't need all that but watch the Mythbusters for how to easily make a fingerprint prosthetic. There's reasons we don't use these things in high security operations and those units are much more advanced than this phone toy.

Now you're just lying. Having been on a military base going through various authentications, I can tell you first hand you're wrong.

MidTxWRX said,

Dude get out of here and do some research. I get that you must have some deep loathing for Apple deciding to use their Touch ID tech... but what good does it do to spread false rumors?

Keep it to yourself.

Sorry, those are the facts. Not sure why you want to deny them. It's this strange self delusional Apple religion.

dead.cell said,

Now you're just lying. Having been on a military base going through various authentications, I can tell you first hand you're wrong.

And you can find some DOS systems in government installations too. It takes the government forever to remove old stuff even if it's been declared obsolete.

When you have an individual who is watching you, there's no way to use a mock fingerprint and then somehow fool them when they're watching your hands, along with the screen showing a different face in the system. It also still beats the hell out of a pin code that people can claim to forget or can get from another too.

Just like with phones. Someone can easily grab your pin or find the pattern you use for the phone. Nothing is really full-proof, but I'm pretty sure no one is going to go out of their way to do all that. Someone trying to snoop through your phone isn't going to go through that much trouble unless they have some sort of thousand dollar contract to do so.

And even then, if you're some top level CEO, I'm pretty sure you'd have more to protect your phone than just one layer of security.

I just find it preposterous to think that one could just discount the use of the fingerprint here. These measures are nothing more than a way to inconvenience the individual trying to steal from you, making the effort and risk outweigh the benefits.

Edited by dead.cell, Sep 20 2013, 5:26pm :

Spicoli said,
No, it doesn't need all that but watch the Mythbusters for how to easily make a fingerprint prosthetic. There's reasons we don't use these things in high security operations and those units are much more advanced than this phone toy.

You clearly did not watch that entire episode. Neither one of them showed the entire process of what they did to crack the readers. They mentioned that FACT a few times throughout the episode.

Get your facts straight and you can also stop implying that anyone disagreeing with you is an Apple fanboy because I'm far from it. I own an iPod 5th Gen and that's it. Everything else is Windows and Linux. Far from a fanboy of anything.

...This will protect you from thieves trying to chop off your finger when they mug you for your phone (assuming they're tech-literate thieves, of course),

I predict we'll be covering an attempted/successful severed finger iPhone 5s theft within six months.

If the iOS 7 update is anything to go by, it's that the masses don't educate themselves on statements like "fingerprint sensor" and massive iPhone software updates, and all go WTF when something unexpected happens lol.

"That only works on a live finger; not one that's been severed from your body. "

So the robber will just threaten to cut off one of your other fingers (or otherwise harm you indirectly) instead if you do not unlock the phone.

And once it's unlocked they what run away? Then they no longer have your finger so once the device locks again after x seconds or when the power button gets pushed they have no hope rather than the pin they may have remebered you telling them.

Spicoli said,
Because anyone cares if your phone is unlocked before they steal it. It's easy enough to get around that.

Yup and I did it once. Someone brought in a couple of iPod Touch units that were left in a cab and no one claimed and needed to get them wiped. One had a password on the lock screen and the connection to the computer so I had to use another method to force allow then got it wiped. The other one I think was just a very dead battery.

Spicoli said,
They already did this on Mythbusters. They're easily fooled. This is just another viral marketing ad.


They didn't show the entire process of what Jamie and Adam did to crack them for security reasons. Just recently saw that episode again.

Also, these sensors are newer than what they tested. Their methods more than likely wouldn't work. Wouldn't be surprised if Jame and Adam contacted the companies responsible for the tech to let them know how they did it.

No, it's not newer. It's the same old Authentec fingerprint hardware. Apple just makes you want to think it's something new so you'll hand then hundreds of more dollars for the same phone. The method they used on Mythbusters was to etch it onto a circuit board and then use it as a mold.

Spicoli said,
No, it's not newer. It's the same old Authentec fingerprint hardware. Apple just makes you want to think it's something new so you'll hand then hundreds of more dollars for the same phone. The method they used on Mythbusters was to etch it onto a circuit board and then use it as a mold.

It is newer and it's better implemented. Do your research please.

The hardware they used on that episode is based on an older method. Not only that but they found that the PC based fingerprint scanner they were using at the start was harder to fool than the one on the door. Something tells me that Apple may of actually done their research on this. We will have to wait and see though.

The real joke is to think anyone is going to really go through all that trouble to fool a fingerprint reader. I'd have better luck watching you open your phone with a pin or seeing the streaks on your phone left from your "super secret" pattern.

Hate Apple if you want, there's plenty of reasons to not like them. This isn't one of them though.

stevan said,

It is newer and it's better implemented. Do your research please.

No, it's not. Don't blindly believe marketing trying to sucker you out of money. Become a rational consumer please.