iPhone Unlocked By Fingerprint Because Of A Warrant From The LAPD

While we were so focused on the Apple Vs FBI court battle that was going on, it would seem that the FBI were up to their usual tricks. I refer to the first known case where a user was made to unlock their iPhone by fingerprint because of a warrant.

The court case was overseen by a Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge who agreed that David Charles Baust could not be forced to hand over his iPhones passcode. The judge did say he could be compelled to supply his biometric information to unlock the device, though, a measure that seems very similar in its outcome.

The warrant issued allowed an LAPD agent to visit the premises of Baust and a Paytsar Bkchadzhyan and acquire a fingerprint for the purposes of unlocking the iPhone, a trick that can be mimicked with something as simple as Play-Doh. The warrant contains the line “Law enforcement personnel are authorized to depress the fingerprints and/or thumbprints of the person covered by this warrant onto the Touch ID sensor of the Apple iPhone seized… on 25 February”. The inventory of the property taken in the search doesn’t even help narrow down what they searched for, as they state “PAYTSAR BKCHADZHYAN – FINGERPRINT ON IPHONE DEVICE”, a rather ambiguous term when keeping track of something.

The fingerprint didn’t help as after 48 hours of not unlocking your iPhone with touch ID requires that you enter your passcode anyway, a piece of information that the Judge had already ruled out being forced from the suspect.

This could have repercussions, such as in the case where a person from England is being asked to unlock his device over a case that could see him tried in America, where you could be seen as providing evidence against yourself by providing something like your biometric information or passwords. These are all protected in America under the fifth amendment, the right to not incriminate yourself.

Young Scientist Invents New Fingerprint Recovery Mechanism After Home Burglary

What sounds like the story from a Hollywood crime show is actually a real story originating from Australia. A young scientist, Dr Kang Liang, comes home one day to find his house burglarized. The thief got away with some of his favourite belongings and frustrated by the law enforcers limitations he uses his knowledge of science to create a new and improved method for fingerprint capturing.

The new process allows forensic investigators to use a new liquid instead of the old fashioned dusting technique. The liquid contains luminescent crystals that bond to the residue and become visible with UV light. The new technique will allow to take high-resolution digital images of the fingerprint and get much better and detailed images than previously possible. To get the same results, the item with the fingerprint currently needs to be shipped to a special lab where it will be heat and vacuum treated and thereby.

With this new method, investigators can take high-resolution digital photos of the fingerprints right away and transfer them digitally to a central for processing and matchmaking. This could save days if not weeks in investigations and eventually even save lives in some cases.

CSIRO said in a statement: “As far as we know, it’s the first time that these extremely porous metal organic framework crystals have been researched for forensics,” and they are now looking to partner with police forces around the Australia. A thing that I’m sure will spread around the world shortly thereafter, also aided by a large news outlet such as The Sydney Morning Herald bringing this news to everyone.

While the new process won’t help Dr Kang Liang of CSIRO in his own case and get his things back, it might make things a lot more difficult for any other criminal out there.

Android Devices Found Storing User Fingerprints as Image Files

Researchers from FireEye have discovered a method of stealing fingerprints from at least two Android devices. The team found that the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One Max stores fingerprint data, used to unlock the devices, as image files (dbgraw.bmp) within an open “world readable” folder on the phones.

“Any unprivileged processes or apps can steal user’s fingerprints by reading this file,” the FireEye team said in its report.

And it gets worse: this is just one of four vulnerabilities found that allows biometric data to be accessed (and therefore stolen) from and Android phone’s TrustedZone. One such scenario, reported by FireEye, involves a fake lock screen designed to trick users into providing their fingerprint to scammers.

The four FireEye researchers responsible for the findings presented their paper, Fingerprints On Mobile Devices: Abusing and Leaking [PDF], at the Black Hat 2015 security conference in Las Vegas last week.

“To make the situation even worse, each time the fingerprint sensor is used for auth operation, the auth framework will refresh that fingerprint bitmap to reflect the latest wiped finger,” the team said. “So the attacker can sit in the background and collect the fingerprint image of every swipe of the victim.”

Think you’re safe because your Android device is rooted? Nope. You’re at the same risk of having your biometric data stolen as anyone else, since the kernel access permissions are only restricted to root privilege, rather than system privilege.

Forecasters predict that 50% of smartphones will require fingerprint verification by 2019.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information.

Apple May Ditch the Home Button in Next-Gen iPhones

Apple introduced a revolutionary smartphone design when it first came out. Back then, phones had an abundance of buttons, but the company wanted to make it more simplistic. Thus, they came up with the Home Button.

Apple’s Home Button is used on both iPhone and iPad devices to minimize applications, bring up the multitasking menu, activate Siri and other user specific actions. But now, Apple is rumoured to ditch the Home Button too.

According to a report from Digitimes, the Cupertino giant is integrating the Home Button functions in its display by developing a touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chip. This means that the Home Button will now be displayed on the screen, rather than having it as a physical button.

We’ve seen the company make the same move with the trackpad on its latest MacBook series, so it’s highly likely that we will see the same approach on its mobile devices too. However, we are fairly certain that the latest iPhone models being released this fall will not bear the TDDI technology.

In addition, the company is working to integrate the fingerprint sensor directly on the display too. This means that your smartphone’s display will be able to read and interpret your fingerprints as well.

As always, Apple is not going to officially confirm rumours outside of their annual conference, so we might see the company announce the new tech next year. Until then, we might even see other manufacturers taking the same ‘all-display’ approach. As far as I know, the old Nokia N9 is a good example of such a ‘buttonless’ smartphone (except for the volume physical buttons of course).

Thank you Digitimes for providing us with this information

New Windows 10 Sign-In System Will Include Face, Iris, and Fingerprint Scans

Microsoft has unveiled its new sign-in system for Windows 10, called Microsoft Hello, on its Windows Blog.

Hello allows users to sign-in with a traditional password or PIN, but also by face, fingerprint, and retina scan. While Hello will use existing fingerprint scanners, the face and retina recognition system will require a specialised infrared scanner.

Though face and fingerprint recognition has been available on Android and iOS for a while, and fingerprint scanners have featured on more and more laptops and netbooks, Microsoft’s effort to unify the two, plus sophisticated retina scans, within Hello means the company is taking user security very seriously.

Source: The Next Web

MWC: Qualcomm Unviels Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off Sense ID, a new technology that brings ultrasonic fingerprint scanning to mobile devices. The main advantage of ultrasonic fingerprint scanning is that because it uses sound waves, it doesn’t require direct contact with your finger. This means the ultrasonic sensor can be underneath the device’s front cover glass or potentially underneath the display itself. Now fingerprint scanners aren’t breaking news in the mobile market. Previous iterations include the iPhone 5S with Touch ID. This system, along with all current scanners, require physical interaction with the scanner; pretty annoying if it’s cold and you have gloves on. Golves are a pretty extreme example, the scanner could be made unusable by even water, lotion or dirt; so dry clean hands all round.

This new ultrasonic scanner uses high-frequency sound waves to scan your finger, penetrating relatively large obstacles, like the aforementioned gloves scenario. This scanner uses similar technology to that in the medical sector, just not as powerful, yet. This means that the scanner could potentially scan deeper than just the top layer of skin and retrieve even more biometric data.

“At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is showing off a prototype smartphone with Sense ID beneath the front cover glass. When I asked whether Sense ID could be placed beneath the display—so that you could scan your finger by simply placing it on the screen, just like in all the movies—I got a noncommittal response that is best transcribed as “I don’t see why not.””

Now Qualcomm can’t take all the credit here, back in 2013 the company acquired Ultra-Scan; who already had a similar technology developed for use by the US government. Now that may sound a little alarming, the US government seem to want to harvest as much data as possible, but Qualcomm has made clear that your biometric data is secured to the device via its hardware-level SecureMSM tech; no cloud data snatching here.

Sense ID is compatible with all recent Snapdragon SoCs, including the upcoming Snapdragon 820, but there aren’t any immediate products being released with this technology, the earliest indication is Q3 2015.

Thanks to ArsTechnica for supplying this information.

Is Touch ID Headed to MacBooks and Mac Mice?

A new rumour from Taiwanese site Apple.club.tw says that Apple is to bring Touch ID to its MacBooks and computer mice. Touch ID is the fingerprint scanning technology the company has included with the iPhone and iPad beginning with the iPhone 5s.

They say that scanner will be included above the trackpad on MacBooks and included on Apple’s Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. It’s suggested that this would allow users of Apple’s Mac desktops and MacBook laptops to take advantage of increased security, but more importantly it will bring Apple Pay to the Mac. Now many of you will envisage Apple Pay as a contactless payment system to be used in stores, however Apple Pay is also for use online, offering users the ability to simply tap the fingerprint scanner to allow them to make an online payment at participating sites.

Whether this rumour is true or not, it certainly seems like a logical and useful step for the implementation of Touch ID – it’d sure be nice to use it for password entry too.

Source: Apple.club.tw Via: MacRumors

Apple Acquisition of AuthenTec Meant No Nexus 6 Fingerprint Scanner

Back in 2012, Apple purchased biometrics company AuthenTec with the intention of including their fingerprint scanning technology in future iPhones and iPads. That technology became Apple’s Touch ID, first included with the iPhone 5s in 2013 and all iOS devices since. What we didn’t know, was that Motorola intended to incorporate this into their Nexus 6, but Apple’s acquisition left all but a tiny remnant of the company’s plans.

That remnant, according to former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, is the indentation that now holds the Motorola logo on the rear of the Nexus 6. Yes, that small dimple you see in the picture above.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Woodside says that Apple’s acquisition of AuthenTec meant no biometrics for the Nexus 6.

“Indeed, the 6-inch Nexus 6, he can now admit, was stymied by just one of those big players. A dimple on the back that helps users hold the device should, in fact, have been rather more sophisticated. “The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” says Woodside.”

At least we all know what the dimple was for now.

Source: The Telegraph Via: 9to5Mac

Fingerprint of Politician Cloned Just From Public Photos

A member of the Chaos Computer Club has reportedly ‘cloned’ the fingerprint of a politician from Germany solely using publicly available images taken by press at a conference.

Jan Krissler created a usable copy of German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen’s fingerprints using only images and computer software. The software presumably magnified the images taken to a degree that individual details in Ms von der Leyen’s prints could be identified and easily replicated.

Krissler says that “politicians will presumably wear gloves when talking in public” following the publication of his research. Maybe they should too, because details like this could give someone access to anything from her phone to a highly secure building.

Fingerpint recognition has slowly been shown to be not as secure as originally accepted, with hackers working hard to find ways to circumvent it. There are other methods, like finger vein recognition, that are being developed to get around the issues traditional biometrics pose.

Source: BBC News

Mental Millet Part 2: Phone Specifications and Price

Yesterday we reported on Chinese phone manufacturer Millet processing an incredible 1.62 million phone orders over a non-stop 72-hour period, blasting the local Chinese market with their latest technology release. Today, we’ve uncovered some more information on what’s contained within this most-wanted piece of kit thanks to MyDrivers.

Simply called the ‘Millet 5’, or ‘m 5’ if that’s a little too lengthy, this latest phone offering has been described as a flagship and much anticipated release for Millet. First batches of these phones have been selling for 3000 yuan ($490 US) and contain some pretty kick-ass features. Compared to their previous release, the Millet 4, this new smartphone offers you a slightly larger screen, a more sturdy design and a little more pressure on the wallet – nothing that sounds too much like an incredible advancement.

Containing a 5.7-inch screen and a powerful Xialong 810 processor (64-bit, eight core, 20nm), the Millet 5 is setting users back an extra 1,001 yuan ($163 US) compared to the previous Millet release. But interestingly enough, this phone certainly doesn’t follow the often stigmatized “cheap Chinese” technology route – providing fingerprint technology for users to unlock their phones (like is seen in the iPhone 5) and some very careful consideration is said to be put into providing a sturdy design.

We’ll continue to report as more information is made available to us here at eTeknix.

Image courtesy of MyDrivers

 

Individual App Locking With Touch ID Available Through AppLocker Jailbreak Tweak

It was consistently rumored that Apple will introduce a fingerprint scanner with the iPhone 5S, and that did happen. However by default the Touch ID scanner is limited to either locking or unlocking the device or authorizing purchases through Apple’s content stores. Users would have liked the ability to secure individual apps using the fingerprint scanner, but Apple hasn’t introduced that feature now, though it hasn’t denied the possibility of a feature like this making it to iOS in the future.

With the recent release of iOS 7 untethered jailbreak, a whole new world of tweaks and customizations was opened up for all the new Apple mobile devices, which include the iPhone 5S. AppLocker is a jailbreak tweak that has been around for quite a while, previously it let users simply add a passcode lock to individual apps. Its latest update brings the ability to lock a single app using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Users won’t be required to go through a complicated setup process, the tweak will simply use the fingerprints already saved in the device during the initial Touch ID setup.

Nevermind that the fingerprint scanner is only found on the iPhone 5S. Those with other iOS 7 devices can also use this tweak, but they’ll have to use a password to lock apps. AppLocker is available right now in the ModMyi Cydia repository for $0.99.

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of VR-Zone

New iPhone To Feature ‘Screen Expansion’ At 4.8-inch Displays

A lot of rumours were circulating regarding Apple’s next big move in innovating their iPhone, with ‘big’ being the keyword being used. From reports which originally began appearing a couple of months ago till the new one which appeared today, Apple is working on something ‘big’. And that something is the internal prototype testing of bigger iPhones, with screen sizes ranging from 4.3-inches all the way up to 6-inches, which probably will be another product altogether. Perhaps the iPhone phablet is indeed in the works and Apple wants to gain ground with its competition, such as the Nokia Lumia 1520 and Galaxy Note 3.

“Despite still seeing risk to CQ4 and FY13 revs, we now believe better [gross margins] will allow Apple to skate by until iPhone 6 launches with its 4.8″ screen,” Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. ,  wrote in a note. “We est ~50% of smartphone shipments have >4″ screens and that iPhone 6 will catalyze a large upgrade cycle. The stock is attractive based on the attitude change, FY15 revs >+15%, and valuation.”

The rumours indicate that the next iPhone “6”, which will undoubtedly be launched in 2014, will come with a 4.8-inch display. We don’t know exactly how the number 4.8 was reached, but it is a  believable rumour. Apple’s next iPhone will undoubtedly be bigger, but reliable hard evidence has yet to arise. Therefore the iPhone 5s along with its fingerprint sensation and colourful iOS 7 interface will still remain the main subject attraction, for now at least.

Thank you NextPowerUp and BGR for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NextPowerUp and BGR.