fingerprint Stories May 2, 2016

touch-id

For the first time in a federal case, a suspect has been ordered to use her fingerprint to unlock her iPhone using Touch ID. The LA Times reports that a federal judge signed a warrant allowing the FBI to compel a suspect in an identity theft case to to unlock the phone just 45 minutes after her arrest.

Authorities obtained a search warrant compelling the girlfriend of an alleged Armenian gang member to press her finger against an iPhone that had been seized from a Glendale home […]

In the Glendale case, the FBI wanted the fingerprint of Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, a 29-year-old woman from L.A. with a string of criminal convictions who pleaded no contest to a felony count of identity theft.

The warrant is consistent with a 2014 case where a Virginia District Court ruled that while passcodes are protected by the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, fingerprints are not. Legal experts, however, have differing views …

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fingerprint Stories July 21, 2015

Touch ID built into iPhone display one step closer as third-party company announces new tech

The possibility of Apple embedding the Home button into the display of a future iPhone model got a step closer today as a third-party company announced technology that allows fingerprints to be read through Gorilla Glass.

TNW reports that Sonavation has developed ultrasonic fingerprint sensors capable of 3D scanning from beneath the Gorilla Glass Apple uses for its iPhone displays.

Though details on how it will work are sparse, Sonovation says its sensors are “capable of capturing fingerprint data into the ridges and valleys.” It also says 3D scanning can take place if a finger is wet, dirty or oily — all without compromising accuracy.

There’s nothing to suggest any link between Apple and Sonavation – this is merely an indication that the type of technology required to replace a physical Home button with an embedded one is already out there. A sketchy report last month suggested that Apple is working on this type of technology.

Don’t look for this in the iPhone 6S, though. While a recent leak confirmed our report that the new iPhone would get Force Touch, it also revealed that the external appearance of the phone will be almost identical to the iPhone 6.

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

fingerprint Stories February 18, 2015

bank-touch-id

Two UK banks–Royal Bank of Scotland and Nat West–are now allowing customers to login to their mobile banking apps using Touch ID, reports the BBC. The updated RBS app is expected to hit today, with the Nat West one following tomorrow.

RBS and NatWest customers must activate the feature with their security information, but would only need to use Apple’s Touch ID thereafter.

The banks–owned by the same parent company–said that use of Touch ID is subject to a number of security safeguards …  expand full story

fingerprint Stories December 29, 2014

touch-id

The hacker who successfully used a fingerprint captured from an iPhone to fool Touch ID now believes it may be possible to perform the same hack without needing access to a physical fingerprint. Speaking at this year’s Chaos Computer Club convention, Jan Krissler – who uses the alias Starbug – demonstrated how a fingerprint can be generated from a series of ordinary photographs of someone’s finger …  expand full story

fingerprint Stories September 24, 2014

touch-id

You may recall that the Touch ID sensor was successfully hacked last year, using a technique where fingerprints were lifted from the phone’s casing followed by sophisticated lab techniques used to create artificial copies of the print to activate the sensor.

The bad news is that the sensor in the iPhone 6 is vulnerable to the same methods – the good news is that security researcher Marc Rogers found the iPhone 6 version to be both more secure and more reliable …  expand full story

fingerprint Stories July 3, 2014

Apple-Patent-app-july-3-01

A new patent application published today by the United States Patent & Trademark Office details a system Apple could use to automatically configure security and other settings of a device based on its location or the habits of its user (Google filed for the same patent 2 months prior but who’s counting?). The majority of the patent discusses intelligently adjusting settings by detecting a device’s location while using retinal scans, DNA, fingerprints, or other biosensors to present an appropriate level of security to the user: expand full story

fingerprint Stories June 5, 2014

Screenshot 2014-06-02 14.34.56

When Apple unveiled the Touch ID API during its WWDC keynote earlier this week, users and developers alike immediately started considering possible uses. It seems PayPal was also quite interested in putting the fingerprint technology to work in its mobile app.

According to Business Insider, several PayPal developers attended a WWDC session on the new API and the company is actively considering its implementation. The idea here is likely to get a head-start on Apple, which is currently said to be working on its own mobile payment service in conjunction with several major payment processors.

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fingerprint Stories June 2, 2014

 

Apple just announced during its WWDC keynote that it’s opening up its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone to third-party app developers. Apple showed off the personal finance management app Mint (pictured above) using the Touch ID feature to allow users to login instead of using the keyboard to enter a password. Previously Apple limited this feature to its own App Store and iTunes purchases as well as unlocking the device itself.

Apple also shared some stats on Touch ID noting that it has improved security by getting a much higher number of users using a passcode to protect their device: expand full story

fingerprint Stories April 3, 2014

New video compares Touch ID to the Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3C6OW8eMGk]

Samsung hasn’t officially launched its next-gen smartphone, the Galaxy S5, just yet but the comparisons to Apple’s latest model are already starting. The S5 features a fingerprint-reader much like the iPhone’s, so YouTube user iCrackUriDevice put both phones head-to-head to determine which device sported the superior scanner.

Both devices have pros and cons. The iPhone 5s has the ability to scan your fingerprint from any angle, while the Galaxy can only detect a downward swipe across the scanner at a very specific angle. On the other hand, the Galaxy can use its fingerprint reader to authorize PayPal purchases, while the iPhone can only authenticate sales on Apple’s own iTunes store.

fingerprint Stories February 26, 2014

With Touch ID in the iPhone 5s, Apple wasn’t the first to integrate a fingerprint sensor in a smartphone, but it certainly popularized the feature as other manufacturers race to build similar technology into their next-gen iPhone competitors. HTC is packing in fingerprint sensors in its latest flagship devices and Samsung announced its new Galaxy S5 earlier this week with finger scanning as one of the standout upgrades. The verdict is still out on how Samsung’s tech compares to Touch ID, but it is interesting to see how others are using fingerprint sensors while Apple keeps it closed to developers and offers very limited applications. With Samsung letting app developers access the new S5’s fingerprint scanner for mobile payments and more right out of the gate, should Apple open the fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? expand full story

fingerprint Stories February 25, 2014

Jealous of S5 heart rate monitor? Your iPhone can already measure your heart rate with these apps

When Samsung unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 yesterday, the big news was the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner and heart rate sensor. The fingerprint scanning of course brings it up to par with Apple’s TouchID functionality, the standout feature and big selling point for the iPhone 5s. The heart rate sensor, however, is something not included in the current iPhone lineup and something Samsung will spend a lot of time marketing as fitness and health wearables like its new smartwatch lineup become big business in 2014. But did you know you can already measure your heart rate on iPhone using the device’s built-in camera?

A number of apps on the App Store, such the “Heart Rate Monitor” app just launched by PlusSports, allow you to accurately measure your heart rate by simply placing your face or fingertip in front of the camera lens. Another app available on the App Store that we’ve tested and works well is Instant Heart Rate. Popular fitness app maker Runtastic also has its own heart rate monitor and pulse tracker app.

The experience of using these apps is almost identical to the S5, which also forces the user to place a finger over a sensor on the back of the device and wait several seconds for a reading.

It’s possible Samsung would tell you that its built-in heart rate sensor is more accurate or feature-filled, but from our tests and reviews from others, the iPhone apps are remarkably accurate.

fingerprint Stories December 23, 2013

Apple HQ in Cupertino

<a href="http://benjaminfeenstra.com/2012/11/google-vs-apple/">Apple HQ in Cupertino</a>

Apple has been on a roll this year in terms of acquisitions. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Cupertino firm acquired 15 companies this year, but only ten have been revealed. That list includes mapping companies such as Embark, chip makers like Passif, search specialists such as Cue and Topsy, and hardware companies such as PrimeSense. Because only 10 of the 15 Apple acquisitions of 2013 have been revealed, we have been digging and asking around to find the few remaining Apple pickups. Based on evidence and chatter from sources, Apple seemingly acquired mapping firm BroadMap in the first half of this year and Evernote-competitor Catch within the last few months…

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fingerprint Stories October 17, 2013

Here come the iPhone 5s ads, touting Touch ID and Gold color option

Apple appears to be changing gears from its previous Designed by Apple in California campaign following the release of the new iPhones. Apple’s latest full page ad is appearing in this week’s edition of the New Yorker and this time around focuses on the new fingerprint sensor and Touch ID feature on the gold iPhone 5s. The text from the ad reads:

Your finger is the password.

Touch ID was created not only to protect all the important and personal information on your phone, but to be so easy to use, you’ll actually use it. Its state-of-the-art technology learns your unique fingerprint, so you can unlock your phone or even authorize purchases with just a simple touch.Touch ID. Only on iPhone 5s.

Apple’s previous Designed by Apple in California ads made a point of focusing on on its ecosystem and the people that use it rather than specific products, but it’s clear the focus has changed slightly now that it has new iPhones on the market. Interestingly, the ad specifically notes Touch ID as specific to iPhone 5s. This particular magazine issue is next week’s version, just one day before the new iPads are announced. Would Apple note Touch ID is exclusive to the iPhone 5s in the same week that the iPads are revamped if the iPads will be getting the feature?

(via @samradford & MacRumors)

fingerprint Stories October 4, 2013

Unlikely fingerprint hack plus Airplane Mode from lockscreen prevents remote wipe

For those paranoid spy folks out there, SRLabs has pointed out an additional security weakness which could help an attacker use the fingerprint hack to access an iPhone 5s.

The fingerprint hack takes time: around half an hour of actual work, plus drying time. Provided you notice your phone has gone before the thief gains access, you can simply remotely lock or wipe the phone. But with Airplane Mode accessible from the control center on the lockscreen, a thief can simply enable this to prevent the phone being wiped while they are dealing with the fingerprint … 

fingerprint Stories September 19, 2013

More than $15k in rewards offered to crack Apple’s iPhone 5s TouchID fingerprint sensor

As noted by BusinessInsider, a number of security researchers and other hackers have come together to offer rewards to the first person that can “reliably and repeatedly break into an iPhone 5s” through bypassing the new TouchID fingerprint sensor feature. They aren’t looking for a software hack, however, but instead want hackers to break into the device by lifting prints, “like from a beer mug.”

It’s not exactly a legit contest, as the creators of the site are only claiming responsibility for their own bounty offers. Their bounties come out to around just $200 of the approximately $20k in pledges listed on the site.

In order to collect, you’ll have to have video proof of the process. The site’s creator explained in the “terms and conditions,” which is actually just a series of tweets:

All I ask is a video of the process from print, lift, reproduction and successful unlock with reproduced print. I’ll put money on this… Enroll print, Place it, lift it, reproduce it, use the reproduction to unlock the phone without being locked out… satisfactory video evidence of the print enrollment, lift, reproduction and successful application of the print without locking out will do.

While there’s no way of telling if most of those offering bounties will actually payout, the largest pledge comes from IOCapital for $10K:

https://twitter.com/Arturas/status/380748248589148161

Apple said at the introduction of the iPhone 5s that “all fingerprints will be encrypted, stored securely and never uploaded to iCloud or its own servers,” but there have been a few questions surrounding how Apple’s new TouchID fingerprint sensor works.  Earlier this month Apple addressed security concerns and noted some features to prevent hacking of the fingerprint sensor:

Only that passcode (not a finger) can unlock the phone if the phone is rebooted or hasn’t been unlocked for 48 hours. This feature is meant to block hackers from stalling for time as they try to find a way to circumvent the fingerprint scanner.

You can check out all of the bounties being offered and learn more through the istouchidhackedyet.com site. 

Even cats can unlock the iPhone 5s with the TouchID sensor [video]

Amusing little tidbit from TechCrunch:

I tested a colleague’s hypothesis that you could register the identifying skin segments of your favorite furry friends for Touch ID, too.

The cat’s paw worked, and while it encountered more frequent failures than did a fingerprint, it was able to unlock the phone again repeatedly when positioned correctly on the sensor. Note that no other paw pads would unlock the device, and that cats essentially have unique “fingerprints” just like people, so this doesn’t make the Touch ID sensor any less secure.

I wonder if a rabbit’s foot would work?

fingerprint Stories September 10, 2013

As we were expecting, Apple just officially announced its new iPhone 5S live on stage during its event taking place now on the company’s Cupertino campus. The new iPhone 5S largely retains the same glass and aluminum design as Apple’s previous generation iPhone, but it does include upgraded internals, and a new gold color option and fingerprint sensor that we previously reported. The new iPhone 5S comes alongside the announcement of Apple’s much rumored lower-cost, plastic iPhone 5C unveiled during the event earlier today.

The iPhone 5s includes a new A7 chip, which Apple notes is the first 64-bit chip in a smartphone, something we reported previously that the company was testing. Apple says the new chip includes 2x general-purpose registers, 2x floating-point registers, and includes over 1 billion transistors on a 102mm2 die size. A7 makes the iPhone 5s over twice as fast in terms of speed, according to Apple, and also provides a 40x increase in CPU performance and 56X faster graphics. The new iPhone 5s hardware will also support Open GL/ES 3.0 and will still support 32 bit apps.

TouchID-iPhone5S-fingerprint-sensor-01Apple is also including a fingerprint sensor in the new iPhone 5s for a new security feature dubbed “Touch ID.” Embedded into the home button, the Touch ID capacitive sensor is 170 microns thin and will not only allow users to unlock their device, but also authenticate iTunes purchases.  Apple says that all fingerprints will be encrypted, stored securely and never uploaded to iCloud or its own servers. It also noted the fingerprint sensor will be able to support multiple fingerprints with the same device

The new iPhone 5s also include a new motion co-processor called the “M7” that Apple says works alongside the A7. It’s able to measure motion data continuously, as well as measure gyroscope, compass, and accelerometer data.

M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving. For example, Maps switches from driving to walking turn-by-turn navigation if, say, you park and continue on foot. Since M7 can tell when you’re in a moving vehicle, iPhone 5s won’t ask you to join Wi-Fi networks you pass by. And if your phone hasn’t moved for a while, like when you’re asleep, M7 reduces network pinging to spare your battery.

The new chip will work with new CoreMotion APIs in iOS 7 that will allow developers to identify user movement. The first to take advantage of the technology is Nike with a new app called “Nike+ Move”.

Battery life: Apple says the new iPhone 5S will get 10 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G browsing,a nd 10 hours of LTE and WiFi browsing. You’ll also get around 250 hours standby and 10 hours of video, according to Apple.

The iPhone 5s packs in a new camera system with a dual LED true tone flash, a new five-element lens designed by Apple, a F2.2 aperture, a sensor with a 15 percent larger active area, auto stabilization, and bigger 1.5 micron pixels. The camera also includes a new burst mode that will continuously take photos a rate of 10fps, and the 120fps slow mo mode that we reported about back in July. Head below for iPhone 5s pricing and availability: expand full story

fingerprint Stories September 5, 2013

iPhone-Plus-Blanc-02

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is testing larger iPhone displays, ranging from 4.8 to 6 inches. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of this, but it does give further credence to the rumors. While the next generation of iPhones, which will be announced on September 10th, will include two different designs, the screen sizes are expected to remain the same. A more diverse family of displays, however, could in the pipeline for future generations.

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fingerprint Stories August 19, 2013

Gold iPhone image created by <a href="http://www.shoplemonde.de">Shop Le Monde</a>

As Apple’s September 10th event iPhone event approaches, we’ve learned some additional details and have independently heard some of the already-floating around information regarding the upcoming announcements.

We’ve long been expecting Apple to launch an iPhone 5S at this upcoming event, an iPhone that looks almost identical to the iPhone 5 but with improved internals. For past iPhone “S” upgrades, like the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S, Apple has retained the same design and colors as the previous models. Black and white units in both of those cases. shoplemonde But, we’ve heard, 2013 will be a bit different. Color will be a differentiator. Much like the much-rumored plastic iPhone will see Apple expand its color palette for iPhones, the iPhone 5S will move beyond the black/slate and white/silver options offered for the iPhone 5…

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fingerprint Stories August 12, 2013

Low fingerprint reader yield rates could slow iPhone 5S release to 3-4M units this quarter, 30M next

You know the drill: Digitimes, grain, salt.

Today Digitimes re-reports that delays at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) could slow the release of  the iPhone 5S and Apple might ship “only 3-4 million units in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 10 million units as originally planned”. The report follows a similar report (now deleted) without numbers or specifics from July 15th. Of course, Apple CEO Tim Cook has noted on multiple occasions that Apple’s plans are difficult to pinpoint based on supply-chain chatter.

Mass production of the fingerprint sensors was originally scheduled to begin in May at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and then to be packaged at Xintec, a TSMC subsidiary, the sources indicated. However, the production of the sensors has been delayed due to issues related to integration between iOS 7 and fingerprint chips, as well as a low yield rate at packaging firm Xintec, the sources revealed.

An engineering team composed of engineers from Apple and TSMC has been dispatched to Xintec recently to help ramp up the yield rate for the packaging of fingerprint sensors, revealed the sources, adding that the supply chain will be able to start volume production of fingerprint chips at the end of August.

If we do assume the above is true, it is useful to know that the third quarter ends in September 28th here. If Apple announces on September the 10th, and there is a week or two for pre-orders, that’s pretty much a launch week/end’s worth of iPhone 5Ss.  It is also useful to know that Tim Cook noted during an earnings call that new products would be released in the Fall, which starts September 22nd.

fingerprint Stories August 7, 2013

polls

An online poll conducted by Polar compares key user-interface elements from iOS 7 to the iOS 6 counterparts. Despite the outpour of criticism from some of iOS 7, these results show that an overwhelming amount of poll responders prefer the design of iOS 7 to iOS 6 and other previous iOS versions…

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fingerprint Stories August 6, 2013

Fingerprint sensors the new black for smartphones as Korean firm Pantech launches the first

Fingerprint sensors are starting to look like the new must-have smartphone feature as Korean firm Pantech launches its first, ahead of the long-rumored fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 5S.

There have also been conflicting rumors that the LG G2, due for launch tomorrow, will or won’t have a fingerprint sensor – we’ll soon find out.

A fingerprint sensor first appeared in early models of the Motorola Atrix 2 back in 2011, but was later removed by Motorola.

If you’ve never heard of Pantech, by the way, that’s because it makes phones almost exclusively for its domestic Korean market, where it’s actually second only to Samsung (but ahead of LG).

fingerprint Stories August 5, 2013

Motorola Atrix Fingerprint Sensor (via DigitalTrends)

Motorola Atrix Fingerprint Sensor (via DigitalTrends)

As this fall approaches, both rumors and actual evidence have pointed to the next iPhone’s marquee feature being a fingerprint sensor for authentication purposes. We previously provided iOS 7-based evidence and information regarding Apple’s work on implementing a fingerprint sensor in future products.

While we reported that Apple is actively developing fingerprint solutions that sit within a display for products a few years into the future, it seems that this year’s iPhone fingerprint sensor could be integrated into the iconic home button.

In light of these rumors, Geppy Parziale, a biometric authentication expert from InvasiveCode, has compiled in-depth look at the technology that powers miniature fingerprint sensors:

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fingerprint Stories July 22, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 3.07.47 PM

Analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo, who has a fairly strong track record in predicting future Apple products (timing not withstanding), has issued a new report with claims for some of Apple’s new products for the rest of 2013. The following is a breakdown of Kuo’s claims by product:

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