A European hacker collective has cracked Apple's new biometric security scheme within days of the release of the iPhone 5s.
The Chaos Computer Club says it's successfully bypassed TouchID an authentication method that lets users log in to their device by touching their smartphone's home button.
Would-be criminals looking to break in to a user's iPhone need only take a high-resolution photo of the user's fingerprint from a glass surface. That image could then unlock an iPhone 5S that is being secured with TouchID.
The simplicity of the hack shows that fingerprints are fundamentally shoddy forms of biometric authentication, said a club member who found the work-around and goes by the name Starbug.
"We hope that this finally puts to rest the illusions people have about fingerprint biometrics. It is plain stupid to use something that you can't change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token", said CCC spokesperson Frank Rieger in a blog post.
Over the weekend, Apple released its two latest versions of the iPhone.
One, the 5S, is more expensive, with a faster processor and the fingerprint scanner. The other, the 5C, is cheaper, has a plastic case and does not provide biometric authentication.
The fingerprint technology isn't that much of a game-changer for bankers, anyway. Third-party developers are walled off from using the feature for enterprise software.