An Apple employee at right instructs a journalist on the use of the fingerprint scanner technology built into the company's iPhone 5S during a media event held in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. For the first time since introducing the device that has reshaped technology and culture, Apple will offer two distinct versions of its latest iPhones — a cheaper model made of colorful plastic and another one that aims to be "the gold standard of smartphones" with a faster processor, fancier camera and fingerprint scanner for better security. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Two days after its launch, the iPhone's new fingerprint technology has already been hacked, according to a report.
A group of German hackers called the Chaos Computing Club claim to have hacked into Apple's Touch ID and are now in the running for $13,000 in prize money, according to Reuters.
The fingerprint technology was meant to make it harder for strangers to get into Apple's handsets, but security experts and a venture capitalist firm put a bounty on the iPhone's new technology to see who could hack it first. Although the group's claim isn't verified yet, some iPhone security experts said they believed the report, first shown on the group's website video, was real.
"Fingerprints should not be used to secure anything. You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints," a hacker named Starbug was quoted as saying on the CCC's site.
The group said it simply photographed an iPhone user fingerprint and then printed it on a transparent sheet. It then used the sheet to make a mold of a "fake finger," Reuters reported. The group said the same process has been used in the majority of fingerprint sensor hacks.
Authors Charlie Miller and Dino Dai Zovi, who wrote "The iOS Hacker's Handbook", said they believed the claim was legitimate. "The CCC doesn't fool around or over-hype, especially when they are trying to make a political point," Dai Zovi told Reuters.
Both Nick DePetrillo and Robert Graham, security experts, launched a contest for the first hackers who "cracked the iPhone," with $10,000 thrown in from I/O Capital, but all said they need to make their own determination about who won the prize.
Each Apple device has been hacked in days
or even hours of its launch, so this is nothing new. However, the idea that fingerprint technology is supposed to make security tighter on the iPhone, makes this hack a bit more embarrassing for Apple.