The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Cybercrime Security Solutions More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED
Let an ISACA® certification elevate your career.
Register today and save
You are here: Home / Mobile Security / Hacking Contest Targets Touch ID
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Hacking Contest Targets Apple Touch ID
Hacking Contest Targets Apple Touch ID
By Jennifer LeClaire / Enterprise Security Today Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
SEPTEMBER
20
2013


No sooner did Apple become the first smartphone company to introduce biometrics security than a hacking contest got underway to try to crack the fingerprint-based security in Touch ID. Doubtless, plenty of hackers will join the competition but will anybody win the prize, which includes $10,000 from venture capital firm IO Capital?

Apple has billed Touch ID as an innovative way to securely unlock your iPhone with the touch of a finger. Built into the home button, Touch ID uses a laser cut sapphire crystal, together with the capacitive touch sensor, to take a high-resolution image of your fingerprint and intelligently analyze it to provide accurate readings from any angle. Every time you use it, Apple promised, it gets better.

The Web site hosting the competition, IsTouchIDHackedYet.com, offers a bold header that responds, "No!" But the following have offered a reward to the first person who can reliably and repeatedly break into an iPhone 5s by lifting prints (like from a beer mug). In addition to the $10,000, the list of prizes includes Bitcoins, a bottle of Argentine wine, and a free patent application covering the hack from @CipherLaw."

Why a Hack is Certain

We caught up with Kevin O'Brien, an enterprise solution architect at CloudLock, to get his thoughts on the contest. He told us the fingerprint security on iOS is almost certainly going to be compromised.

"The two primary mechanisms of defense here are that the fingerprint data is being stored in hashed form, and that the data is being stored in a supposedly secure portion of the device," O'Brien said. "Neither offers any real security."

First, he explained, hashed data can -- with dedicated access and time, and some insight -- typically be reversed. The ideal cryptographic hash would not be reversible, but he said it is often possible to bypass a hash function either by comparing the output and input data and determining what was being done to the data to generate the hash, or by exploiting a weakness in the system to gain access to the data during hash generation.

Isolated Chip Model Vulnerable

"Secondly, the "isolated chip" model of security is completely vulnerable to anyone with access to a phone. Assuming that someone was interested enough, it's possible to exploit any number of weaknesses on the device, and siphon off the fingerprint data while it is being written to, stored, or otherwise accessed," O'Brien said. "We can safely assume that Apple has put some form of defense into this process, but once a device is physically compromised, security is essentially impossible."

Finally, he said, there is the question of malware: The simplest route to gaining access to fingerprint data may be to bypass the device and operating system-level security entirely, and simply trick users into providing their fingerprints as part of some other application."

O'Brien offers an example: A "game" that required the user to press his fingers to the sensor to do something might actually be able to capture the input data and pass it to a third party. Presumably, he said, the sensor is restricted from an API perspective, but any manner of software attack may yield access.

"Time will tell exactly how Apple's attempted security measures will be bypassed, but the combination of access and attack possibilities almost guarantees that it will happen," O'Brien concluded.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Dawesi:

Posted: 2013-09-20 @ 5:05pm PT
"simply trick users into providing their fingerprints as part of some other application."

Unfortunately only apple apps have access to use it ATM.

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN MOBILE SECURITY
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Known for its hot fries and soft-serve ice cream, Dairy Queen just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's New FX Series CPU Breaks Processing Speed Record
The new FX-8370 processor from Advanced Micro Devices has set a record for silicon processor speed, the company announced. Overclocked, the eight-core chip was measured at 8722.78 MHz.
 
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Rumor Mill Puts Mobile Wallet in iPhone 6
Apple is moving toward the mobile wallet world with its next iPhone. The tech giant has partnered with retailers, banks and major payment networks to make it happen, according to Bloomberg.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 
Visual Search To Shop: Gimmick or Game Changing?
Imagine using your phone to snap a photo of the cool pair of sunglasses your friend is wearing and instantly receiving a slew of information about the shades along with a link to order them.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Cybercrime | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.