Hackers have found a way to bypass fingerprint authentication. Is this bad news for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)?
The process sounds pretty simple. According to the Utah People's Post, hackers started by taking a photo of a thumbprint that was left behind on a glass surface. They printed the image onto a transparent sheet of paper using a laser printer and poured wood glue all over it, which created a latex sheet that could be peeled off. That sheet was then used to unlock an iPhone 5S using Touch ID.
"To me, I'm concerned about everything as far as security," Scott Schober, CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems, told Benzinga. "Layers of security [are] always more secure than having one or two things."
Schober said the key to staying safe is to believe that "nothing" is secure.
"Nothing is 100 percent secure," he added. "Any security expert that tries to tell you differently is probably trying to sell you something. There's always a workaround or a way you can hack it."
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Security expert Mark Skilton thinks the simple hacking technique will cause problems for Apple.
"Every new security method, biometric or the iris, can always be broken," Skilton, professor of practice at Warwick Business School, told Benzinga. "Hackers tend to treat it as a challenge."
That makes it a big issue for the iPhone 6.
"Particularly with Apple Pay, especially because the payment systems have become heavily integrated with the digital wallet phenomena," Skilton added. "I think what we'll see is...you'll have to have multiple methods of authenticating or identifying. You can't just use a heartbeat, an iris or a thumbprint because there will be someone, somewhere who will get around this."
Unfortunately, Skilton expects the secondary authentication method to be an old mainstay: a four- or five-digit code.
"They might be able to increase the technology in terms of identifying/authenticating the fingerprint," he said.
New York attorney Arkady Bukh referred the hacker's accomplishment as an "old tactic."
"This is a joke," Bukh told Benzinga. "I don't think it's hard to fake."
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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