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Android fingerprint sensors more vulnerable to hacking than Apple's Touch ID

IBNLive.com

Last Updated: August 06, 2015, 14:58 IST

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The duo not only exposed the security loophole in the readers but also outlined a couple of different attacks including sending malware that can bypass fingerprint authenticated payment systems.

New Delhi: Black Hat security researchers have given you another reason to re-think buying a smartphone with a fingerprint sensor.

Researchers Tao Wei and Yulong Zhang have discovered that the fingerprint sensors on Android smartphones are more prone to hacks than Apple’s Touch ID framework.

The duo not only exposed the security loophole in the readers but also outlined a couple of different attacks including sending malware that can bypass fingerprint authenticated payment systems.

However, the worst type of attack that could be executed is the ‘fingerprint sensor spying attack,’ Engadget reports.

Through the spying attack malicious hacker could remotely lift prints from affected phones, which means possibilities of misusing the data becomes endless. From connected devices to authentication systems, fingerprint hack could lead to an identity theft.

The vulnerability, however, does not extend to iPhone or other Touch ID devices and is viable on both the HTC One Max and the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones.

While the sensor on the Android smartphone do not protect the fingerprint data enough, Apple’s Touch ID doesn’t give out the data without a crypto key even if an attacker has direct access to the fingerprint sensor.

Notified vendors have issued patches for the loophole and you should update your Android device, if it has a fingerprint sensor, to avoid the potential issue.

first published:August 06, 2015, 14:57 IST
last updated:August 06, 2015, 14:58 IST
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