Thursday, September 12, 2013

Little Girl Finds Security Flaw in iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner

Apple's new iPhone 5S features the latest in phone-unlocking security: a fingerprint scanner.

The company announced that its Touch ID fingerprint sensor would read fingerprints at a highly detailed level, boasting a capacitive sensor at 170 microns thin and a 500 ppi resolution. It's James Bond-level technology that could revolutionize lock screens.

While some rejoiced at the advancement in phone security, one Reddit user's clever daughter knew there was a simple flaw in this new tech.

"You call that security?"
Redditor iZeeHunter posted the image Wednesday, along with the caption: "The new iPhone 5S provides unmatched security with its new Fingerprint lock, which makes your personal data even harder to reach!"

Apple should probably hire the little girl pictured, who is wearing a mischievously adorable grin, to examine future products for security breaches.


  1. I hope you're not serious.

    But if you are, I'd like to point out that this "flaw " is not unique to the 5C's scanner. It is inherent in any fingerprint-based authentication system. This will include all the inevitable copycat phones that slavishly follow Apple's lead.

  2. Yes but, Apple has presented this as a "perfect" security solution. Once again, Apple making a big deal over a bleh feature that can be bypassed.

  3. True. Plus the Motorola Atrix had a fingerprint scanner 2 years before the iPhone 5S and laptops have had it for even longer. It really isn't anything amazing at all. The technology has been defeated rather easily (Google Mythbusters) and I don't think it's a great feature on any brand of device. If you look at the apple website you would think they cured cancer.

  4. You can claim that being first is a bragging right, but the Atrix fingerprint scanner was an embarrassing failure.

    "everyone's fingerprint scanner pretty much gave out. Motorola isn't fixing this as a warranty repair." -- see:

    I'm willing to bet that Apple's will be way more reliable. The difference is that Apple waited until the technology was good enough.

    1. Apple's fingerprint scanner is more reliable (at being hacked). Plus, it's not that anyone was looking for bragging rights, Apple claims to be innovative when they are not. It is as simple as that.

    2. Reviews are starting to come it. The 5s fingerprint scanner is easy to set up and is winning converts even among skeptics.

      All fingerprint readers can be fooled by an exact copy of a registered fingerprint, assuming an attacker has the patience and ability to fabricate it. This isn't news. The bottom line that for the 75+% of users who don't currently enable password locking (or set long delays before auto-locking) because they want instant access, using the scanner will make their phones more secure from casual snooping. It's all upside for them.

      The only thing that has kept fingerprint scanners from proliferating on competitors' phones was that no one could figure out how make one that worked reliably. Apple again shows the others how it should be done.

      Haters love to hold up the failed attempts of others as precedent to justify claims that Apple can't innovate. They'll even claim that an idea appearing in a science fiction movie (a prop for cryin' out loud) should deprive Apple of any credit if they can actually produce a functional device.

      Real innovation is getting something to work well enough that consumers just take it for granted, Over the years, they've done it again and again with graphical UI's, desktop publishing, all-in-one computers, portable music players, multi-touch smartphones and tablets.