Apparently, the answer is yes. Wired is reporting that a German hacker with the European organization Chaos Computer Club has found a way to fake out Apple’s brand new Touch ID fingerprint reader, rolled out as a security feature.
The hacker, who goes by Starbug, demonstrated that the phones can be hacked with replicas of real fingerprints constructed with pink latex milk or woodglue. It isn’t the first time CCC set out to prove the flaws in biometric security systems – a few years ago, the hackers published the image of a fingerprint belonging to a German interior minister who was strongly advocating for new electronic passports that would be linked to individuals’ fingerprints.
A few weeks ago, we reported that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and other law enforcement officials had banned together to call on smartphone manufacturers to implement new security features as a way to address growing theft of mobile devices. Apparently, the fingerprint ID systems don’t offer the level of security Apple was hoping for. The latest iPhones, which include fingerprint readers, were just released Sept. 20.
According to the SFPD, more than 50 percent of robberies occurring every day involve smartphones.