Sep 25, 2013

How secure is the fingerprint reader on the iPhone?

There have been a lot of concern about the security of the fingerprint reader on the new iPhone 5S. Is this something to really be concerned about if you are considering getting one?

I don't know how much secure it is but it's really useful to unlock my phone, download apps from app store without manually typing the passcode, password and all.
Why the iPhone's fingerprint sensor is better than the ones on older laptops

" The fingerprint sensor built into the home button of the iPhone 5S is proving controversial, with questions asked about both the level of security and the effectiveness of fingerprints in the first place. Nobody wants to spend five minutes making sure they press their finger at just the right angle.

But most of the concerns are only relevant to older fingerprint sensors. What we’re seeing in the iPhone -- and will see in other devices soon -- uses a new generation of technology.

Although Apple bought Authentec, who put those annoying finger-graters onto a large proportion of laptops (complete with irritating software for mapping your fingerprints to your Windows password, web site passwords, and even launching different apps by swiping different fingers), the fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5S isn't going to be like that."

A lot of the “hacks” have involved lifting user fingerprints and making latex copies. Unless you are head of the NSA, I doubt most bad guys are going to have any desire to do that, or the know-how even if they did. Also, as flaws are identified, I would expect Apple to offer software updates to address them pretty quickly. I would not worry too much about it. There is a slideshow about this here on ITworld.

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