The first person to exploit the iPhone 5s’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor will get $16,000 for their troubles. A new website put up by independent security researcher Nick DePetrillo, is offering the healthy sum if one can definitively show a working method to bypass the new technology. DePetrillio, who worked on 2010’s Carmen San Diego Project, has been joined by Robert David Graham, another respected security researcher.
According to the rules, the iPhone 5s needs to be unlocked with a copied fingerprint, and the method used must be documented on video. The video itself must show fingerprint enrollment, how to lift the print, reproduction of that print and then the phone itself unlocking using that fake print. Some of the bounty is being offered in cash, while some is in BitCoin; the overall sum is valued at $16,000. Additionally, the person who successfully comes up with the hack will also win a free patent application from CipherLaw.
According to DePetrillo and Graham, Apple’s new Touch ID sensor poses a “tough problem,” but they both feel it’s only a matter of time before someone can break in. With all the publicity the project is getting, Graham said he believes it’ll happen sooner rather than later.
As one of the iPhone 5s’s main attractions, Touch ID is a new system built right into the device’s home button, and allows users to set up easy security in favor of the traditional passcode. Apple has said the technology is capable of sensing the live tissue in a person’s finger, so someone attempting to unlock a device with Touch ID activated will need to replicate that in a fake print. Think you’re up for the challenge?