Security researcher: Apple iPhone 5s Touch ID is truly better security

“When Apple introduced the iPhone 5s earlier this month, one of the features it touted was Touch ID, a fingerprint-scanner built into the home button at the bottom of the device,” JP Mangalindan reports for Fortune. “Users may simply touch the home button to unlock their phone and even authenticate iTunes purchases, instead of inputting a custom 4-digit passcode used by previous iPhones.”

“But just how secure is Touch ID, really?” Mangalindan reports. “Is it a nifty gimmick, or truly better security for user data?”

Mangalindan reports, “Likely the latter. According to Marc Rogers, a security researcher for the mobile security startup Lookout, Apple’s implementation of fingerprint scanning trumps the old method for myriad reasons. Rogers explains fingerprint scanning as a whole is more secure than the four-digit passcode. Copying someone’s fingerprints remains a cumbersome process, not to mention pricey — as much as $200,000, by some estimates. And at the risk of sounding morbid, using severed fingers apparently isn’t an option either. Which is to say, that barring a targeted hack, iPhone 5s owners should rest assured their data is just as secure as it ever was.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, once again, Malandroid settlers are left out in the cold.

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  1. Malandroid (as you call them) do not need security on their phones. As all the statistics are showing, owners of those phones are not exactly high income nor do they have many assets. So, if their phones are stolen and hacked, what is the hacker going to get? Their Wal-Mart frequent shopper card number?

    1. Do you even know what you are suggesting? Do you understand hacking? Hacking requires a means/vector by which to attack your device.

      1. Virus (Apple guards against this via multiply means. App Store vetting, sandboxing, limited rights given to applications, etc)
      2. Trojan Horse (Same as above)
      3. Physical attack (You must reproduce a “live” fingerprint. This is assuming your phone has been taken from your possession 1st. It is FAR easier to snoop on a user and steal their passcode than it is to reproduce their “live” fingerprint. Just ask my kids.)

      There is no such thing as perfect security, but this is clearly a huge improvement. Yes, someone will find a way around this, but it will likely not be something easily or cheaply reproducible, which is again a huge step forward in security for the average joe.

  2. It’s a red herring to ask “How secure is touch ID?” when Apple’s implementation has already been proven superior to that seen on some PC laptops where it exists mostly as a laughable gimmick. Thankfully the reviewer asks that question. Kudos!

    There’s only two possible problems with Apple’s touch ID:
    1. Can it be hacked? – we’ll find out soon.
    2. An iPhone could be potentially be accessed by swiping a person’s finger while they sleeping or heavily drugged; a question the reviewer sadly overlooked.

    1. We are talking degrees of security. Which is more likely, someone will snoop over your shoulder and learn your passcode or you getting drugged? If someone is going to lengths to drug you to get what is on your phone, then there is nothing you were going to be able to do about that. My kids prove that learing passcodes is about social engineering and being in the right place and time to steal such codes.

  3. The only way SAMSUNG can beat Apple with this one is build the “breathastinkalizer” on that oversized POS. Just like in Aliens, Android geeks blowhard into the sensor, stink and all, and boom, your in…or something like that.

  4. JP Mangalindan reports for Fortune said blahblahblah…

    And of course he totally missed the point of using fingerprint ID as an ADDED method of ADDITIONAL security above and beyond pass codes.

    It profoundly disturbs me how capitulating all these ‘security researchers’ are by accepting Apple’s use of fingerprint ID as an alternative to pass codes. Totally bullshit. The two should be locked together as a requirement of all users. Too bad if the moaning LUSERS find multi-factor authentication to be ‘inconvenient’. Get secure or get lost.

    – – – I really am turning into a security curmudgeon eh? Sorry to be boring, but I can’t make this point enough. Baby quality security measures are for babies by babies. Not good enough.

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