Thursday, September 5, 2013

The New iPhone Fingerprint Authentication System

So — can Apple's biometric authentication be hacked? Almost certainly; I'm sure that someone with a good enough copy of your fingerprint and some rudimentary materials engineering capability — or maybe just a good enough printer — can authenticate his way into your iPhone.  But, honestly, if some bad guy has your iPhone and your fingerprint, you've probably got bigger problems to worry about.

The final problem with biometric systems is the database.  If the system is centralized, there will be a large database of biometric information that's vulnerable to hacking.  Apple's system is almost certainly local — you authenticate yourself to the phone, not to any network — so there's no requirement for a centralized fingerprint database.

Fingerprint authentication is a good balance between convenience and security for a mobile device, and Apple is smart to add the technology to the iPhone.

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