The launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C has been a mixed bag for Apple. From a positive perspective, the new color choices, the Gold iPhone 5S in particular have proved to be very popular amongst consumers.
From a negative point, poor production planning and problems with production of the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner have meant that many people have been left disappointed in their hunt for their ideal new iPhone.
However iPhone 5S security has quickly become a problem for Apple with exploits discovered for the fingerprint scanner and iOS 7. We take a quick look at the security issues you may need to consider if you have bought an iPhone 5S or upgraded to iOS 7.
Finger Print Scanner
US Senator Al Franken, concerned with iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner
Prior to the launch of the iPhone 5S, many analysts noted the security issues concerning the introduction of the finger print scanner onto an iPhone 5S. However a US senator Al Franken wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook outlining his concerns about the finger print scanner. In the letter he made the following points:
“Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent”
“Let me put it this way: if someone hacks your password, you can change it as many times as you want. You can’t change your fingerprints.”
Furthermore a group of German hackers named the Chaos Computer Club, claim to have bypassed the fingerprint scanner by simply printing a high definition copy of a fingerprint and gluing it to a finger.
iOS 7 Control Centre Lockscreen Bypass
Security issues exist with iOS 7 Control Centre on lockscreen.
Further to the possible security flaws highlighted with the iPhone’s fingerprint scanner, a more immediately concerning bypass for Apple is the control centre lockscreen bypass. The lockscreen bypass essentially means that anyone can pick up an Apple iOS 7 device and browse the owner’s images and share the images as they see fit.
Apple has been quick to respond to these security issues questions, stating that the Apple does not store the owner’s actual fingerprint on the device, instead it keeps encrypted data about the fingerprint on the iPhone’s processor. Encryption essentially means that the data is scrambled so anyone who looks at the data will not be able to understand it, however hackers have a history of breaking encryption protocols. As such you should consider how much you trust Apple’s encryption before using this feature.
Apple has has also moved quickly to address the iOS 7 Lockscreen bypass flaw. An Apple representative stating: “Apple takes user security very seriously”.
In my opinion, it seemed that Apple has rushed the launch of iOS 7, and the fingerprint scanner seems like a desperate attempt to differentiate the new iPhone 5S as being more innovative than any other smartphone. If you have not updated to an iPhone 5S, I would wait to see Apple’s response to these security issues, and wait for the next update to iOS 7 before downloading the latest iOS. Now aren’t you glad you didn’t queue overnight for the new iPhone…
Do these security issues worry you? Have you updated to iOS 7? Should the S in iPhone 5S stand for Security Problems? Leave a comment and let us know.
By Fred Creedon [button color=”blue” size=”small” link=”https://twitter.com/FredLikesTech” target=”blank” ]Fred’s Twitter[/button]