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Apple Fingerprint Scanner: Calling All Hackers

Apple fingerprint scanner: As usual, the launch of the last Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone generated lots of discussion. One of the most debated issues is that of its new fingerprint scanner feature. This high-tech incorporation is a first-of-its-kind and has, to some extent, revolutionized smartphone security.


Photo Credit: Apple

As you might already know, security advances usually respond to threats. At the same time, hackers react trying to compromise these new systems, one again. And this is precisely what is happening with Apple’s fingerprint scanning technology. As reported by Reuters:  “A micro venture capital firm joined a group of security researchers to offer more than $13,000 in cash along with bottles of booze, Bitcoin currency, books and other goodies to the first hacker who breaks the device in a contest promoted on the website”

Although this may seem like a call to web-piracy, Arturas Rosenbacher, the main donor for the competition (he gave $10,000), assured that it’s all about helping Apple find bugs and errors that it may have overlooked.

Actually, this has already occurred with iOS 7, which Apple began distributing to existing iPhone and iPad customers on Wednesday, and has already surpassed iOS 6 in terms of penetration. A Spanish user noticed that the lock screen could be easily bypassed within seconds, gaining access to the gadgets’ content. Although Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman pledged that this issue would be quickly addressed, iOS 7 users will remain vulnerable until an update is released. However, Jose Rodriguez, the discoverer of this bug, also published a video and advice on how to prevent hackers from bypassing your lock screen.

Although the fingerprint scanning security method seems a little bit harder to breach, this will certainly not discourage hackers from trying. Quite opposite, some famed hackers like David Kennedy, a former U.S. Marine Corps cyber-intelligence, have declared to be waiting for the phone to come out in order to give it a try. Not only are the $13,000 and the alcohol an incentive, but vanity also enters the equation. Every hacker wants to be the first to master this challenge.

The company´s (and users´) hopes are deposited on the “white hats,” hackers who uncover bugs and report them so that manufacturers can repair them before “black hats” (or criminal hackers) can exploit them. For your privacy’s sake, let’s hope this actually occurs. Check back for more updates on the Apple fingerprint scanner.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no position in any stocks mentioned

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