As the threat of cyber crime increases, tech giants are constantly faced with the task of developing new methods to ensure our devices remain secure.
With the introduction of the iPhone 5S, Apple introduced ‘Touch ID’ which was touted as a step up from the passcode lock, requiring the fingerprint of the owner to unlock the device.
It sounds quite secure in theory but as always, hackers and researchers alike have found ways in which the Touch ID system can be compromised.
Apple iPhone 6 and Touch ID
With the launch of the iPhone 6 last week as well as the new operating system, iOS8, many commentators were expecting the Touch ID capabilities to be enhanced, providing a higher level of security.
Earlier this week however, a researcher determined that among the changes to the iPhone 6, the Touch ID feature was tightened but only slightly.
Marc Rogers, chief security researcher at Lookout Mobile Security became one of the first researchers in 2013 to successfully hack Touch ID on the iPhone 5S. Using the same technique which involves creating a fake fingerprint using a relatively low budget method, he was able to again hack into the iPhone 6.
While this does present a slight concern, Rogers says there is no need for people to worry just yet as the hack “requires skill, patience, and a really good copy of someone’s fingerprint”.
Will Touch ID be Enough to Secure Apple Pay?
That being said, the real concern surrounding Touch ID lies in the imminent launch of Apple Pay. Set to be released in October, Apple Pay uses the near-field communication chip in the device as well as the credit card management software to allow users to use their phone as a credit card. Touch ID will be the primary method to unlock Apple Pay.
With the incentive of being able to access the many credit card accounts of users, the likelihood of hackers turning their attention to Apple Pay and Touch ID seems high.
Rogers added that including a two factor authentication method to Apple Pay will increase security, such as requiring a passcode or password as well as Touch ID.
It will be interesting to see how Apple approaches these concerns in the weeks leading up to the launch of Apple Pay.
You can view Marc Rogers’ interview with CNET here for more information.