The announcement of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the new Apple iPhone 5S is all set to take biometric protection into the mainstream.
But how well can fingerprint sensors be defeated? We’ve all seen biometric systems defeated in Hollywood action movies, but can it be done and just how easy it?
Fortunately the guys at MythBusters have already answered that question.
Of course, that’s quite a lot of effort - and almost certainly far much more than the typical smartphone mugger is ever going to go to.
And we don’t know yet how successful such a technique would be against the iPhone 5S, because no-one owns one yet!
But it’s an important reminder to everyone that fingerprints are not private, you leave them lying around everywhere, and if someone has enough incentive - and the resources available to them - they may try to defeat any security system that you trust your fingerprint to unlock.
One thing is for sure. With the launch of the iPhone 5S, more people will be using fingerprint sensors as part of their daily security than ever before - and the hackers will be certainly intrigued to see how they might circumvent it.
Further reading: Touch ID: Apple’s iPhone fingerprint sensor FAQ