Over the last week I have read many articles relating to Apple’s TM inclusion of the fingerprint scanner in the iPhoneTM 5S, most of them concerned about the security of both storage of the print and the ability to hack the authentication.
The German based group called the Chaos Computer Club has been verified by independent security researchers as successfully unlocking the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint that had been onto a piece of latex. And I should point out that the finger print was being worn by someone other than the owner of the print!
Well James Bond’s new iPhone 5S is probably at risk from the dark evil villain from the next movie as he will want to steal his phone and rule the world. The bad guy will of course have a team of experts on hand to lift Bond’s finger prints and make a fake hand so they can unlock the phone.
Is this really a risk? I think the buzz around hacking this device is doing a great job of ignoring the statistics about the number of people that have pin or passcodes set on their phones, with as many as 90% of smartphone users failing to protect their device. Adding an additional method of authentication to unlock the phone whether used on its own or in conjunction with an existing method has to be a good for the consumer, if more people decide to lock their phone then more people are protected, that is of course unless you have an evil empire trying to steal your finger prints.
We should of course be vigilant about how companies store our data and what their privacy policies are, but in this case encouraging people to protect their devices that carry so much of our personal data has to be a win win situation.
My iPhone 5S is due to turn up today and when it gets here I will be switching on the finger print authentication in conjunction with a pin number.
September 27, 2013