A clever 7-year old boy just developed a rather simplistic method to unlock his father’s iPhone 6 Plus protected using Touch ID.
Coming in from CNN, it is reported that the child – Harrison Green, snuck into his father’s room, and quietly pressed dad’s finger on the iPhone 6 Plus’ Touch ID Home button to effortlessly unlock it, and all this happened while he was asleep. The father happens to be one Mathew Green – a professor at Johns Hopkins University.
Why is this news? Well it’s not, unless you understand the underlying significance of the serious shortcoming of these so-called biometric security measures. Part of the reason why this story made it to CNN, as I understand it, would be Green teaching computer security and cryptology at Johns Hopkins and having this happen to him.
According to Green, “This is a really serious problem. In a situation where you’re under arrest, biometrics are not very good.” He was explaining to CNN Money how this security measure can be so easily compromised when under arrest, or being subjected to a crime.
The Touch ID fingerprint identification system on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 / 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 has been seen with a lot of doubts for some time now, with the technology trumping your rights to the Fifth Amendment. A recent court ruling in a case in Virginia allowed the police the right to collect the suspect’s fingerprint to unlock his iPhone, just like the police can use a DNA sample for forensics.
As for the little kid unlocking his father’s iPhone 6 Plus, all he was looking forward to was some good ol’ games for entertainment and pass some time, but no doubt, touch based IDs will never be as safe as passwords or passcodes, given that the information is right on your finger, and unlike a passcode, is physically accessible.
Have you ever experienced a scenario where you were unable to keep your phone locked out due to legal pressure, or if one of your friends quietly pulled a Harrison Green on you? Sound off in the comments section below.