Researchers bypass #fingerprint #sensor in #Samsung #GalaxyS5

SRLabs researchers have released a new video demonstrating why fingerprints are not fit for secure device unlocking.


Fingerprint sensors on smartphones are certainly big step forward. But, are they good enough? Back in September last year, German researchers managed to crack the protection around Apple’s fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S. Researchers used “fake fingerprint”, which could be put onto a thin film and used with a real finger to unlock the device. And now, the fingerprint sensor on Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 has been cracked with the very same trick.

Germany-based SRLabs has released a video demonstrating the trick. Researchers used a “wood glue spoof”, made from mould of a fingerprint smudge left on smartphone screen. According to SRLabs, the fingerprint sensor in the S5 is more shoddy than what was found in the iPhone 5S.

Apple needs a password after every reboot before users can unlock their iPhone 5s with fingerprint scanner. The phone also needs a password after certain number of failed attempts with fingerprint scanner.

However, the Galaxy S5 allows users to make unlimited attempts to unlock the device with fingerprint scanner. Moreover, rebooting doesn’t lock the fingerprint scanning feature. Researchers showed how the Galaxy S5 fingerprint hack could allow hackers to access the PayPal app on the phone.

SRLabs points out that using fingerprint as credentials for local user authentication has two flaws as compared to the traditional password system.

First up is the limited revocation, which means once a fingerprint gets stolen, there’s no way to change it. Second is the credential spread. “Users leave copies of their fingerprints everywhere; including on the devices they protect. Fingerprints are not fit for secure local user authentication as long as spoofs (fake fingers) can be produced from these pervasive copies,” said the firm.

In the meanwhile, PayPal has issued a statement, saying the company has taken the SRLabs findings seriously.

“The scan unlocks a secure cryptographic key that serves as a password replacement for the phone,” the statement read. “We can simply deactivate the key from a lost or stolen device, and you can create a new one. PayPal also uses sophisticated fraud and risk management tools to try to prevent fraud before it happens. However, in the rare instances that it does, you are covered by our purchase protection policy.”

Source: SRLabsArsTechnica

HTC M8, the HTC One’s rumoured successor, leaked in images

A trio of images of HTC’s rumoured flagship smartphone for 2014 – the HTC M8 have appeared on the Web. The leaked images reveal the back cover along with a hole for fingerprint scanner on top.

HTC M8, the HTC One's rumoured successor, leaked in images

HTC M8, the HTC One’s rumoured successor, leaked in images

Images have emerged of the HTC M8, rumoured to be HTC’s flagship phone for 2014 on the Internet. The teaser images suggests that HTC is sticking to the same design it introduced with the HTC One.

In the picture, the HTC M8 features a cutout for a fingerprint scanner on top, pretty similar to the one introduced in the HTC One Max. Another notable change in the design is that the M8 appears to be much slimmer than the HTC One, with slightly more rounded edges. The rumored specs for HTC M8 include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and Sense 6 UI. As far as the display is concerned, the screen size should be somewhere between 5 to 5.2 inches with a resolution of 2K (2048 x 1080 pixels).

However, nothing of this is officially confirmed yet, though we hope to hear more on the HTC M8.

HTC’s move for a turnaround with just one flagship did not seem to work for the Taiwanese manufacturer, as the excitement over the HTC One was very short-lived, which is quite perplexing because there was nothing wrong with the HTC One. As a matter of fact, it was probably one of the best smartphones of the first half of 2013. However, a lackluster marketing campaign and poor brand recognition led to its downfall.

It seems that HTC is already preparing for the next calender year with the M8. This could possibly be the one of the last chances for HTC to make a comeback and if CEO Peter Chou is not able to turn things around in the next product cycle, we might not see HTC in 2015.

Source: Unwiredview


iPhone 5S User Guide has ‘Touch ID Sensor’

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S and a cheaper iPhone 5C model at a press event on September 10, 2013. This new smartphone may look like just another iPhone but it’s more than that.

iphone 5s gold

iphone 5s gold

The new iPhone appears to have a combination “Home button/Touch ID sensor”. Leaked images of new iPhone indicate the location of the “Lightning connector”, “Silver ring around home button”, “Volume buttons”, and “Sleep/Wake button.” image

The new smartphone is also expected to have an improved display for “increased brightness and/or reduced power consumption. It’s been reported that smartphone would have a Retina + Sharp IGZO display.

According to the leaked specs, the smartphone will include a faster processor iOS 7, an NFC reader, a Fingerprint Reader, a 4-inch 1136 × 640 display and a new 12 megapixel backside camera with dual LED flash. The new handset will also include 2GB of RAM, a quad-core SGX 554MP4 GPU, an A6 CPU and improved LTE. It also has a bigger battery than its predecessor.

It’s well known that one of the key battlegrounds of smartphone warfare is the specifications of the on-board camera. And as per reports, Apple will launch the 5S with a 13MP camera to give tough competition to other smartphone’s like Sony Xperia Z and Galaxy S4.

Leaked images have been surfacing all over the internet and show that iPhone would be offered in several color choices. There are many speculations about the smartphone hardware as iPhone 5C would be introduced as a less expensive alternative. As per reports, the shell or casing of this smartphone will be plastic, to save money.

Other leaked images have focused on the new (and still rumoured) champagne gold iPhone 5s option. Some of the latest images show the champagne gold option with the rumoured dual-flash.

The new iPhone is expected to land in stores around 20th September.

Apple iPhone 5S out on 10 Sept: What are the rumour mills saying?

Apple’s next version of the iPhone, which has been dubbed the iPhone 5S in the press, is likely to be released on 10 September according to a report by AllThingsD. The date is seen as pretty much accurate, given that the last iPhone came out on 12 September.

So what are we expecting from the iPhone 5s?

Fingerprint scannerAccording to a report by MacRumors, which quoted reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 5S may include a sapphire-covered convex home button housing a fingerprint sensor.

Kuo has a strong track record in terms of its ability to predict features of the iPhone in the past and according to Ming’s analysis, Apple’s newconvex home button creates space for fingerprint sensor.

He is quoted as saying: A convex home button could be more easily scratched, so a harder material is required. We believe Apple will switch from plastic to sapphire, whose hardness is second only to diamond. Sapphire would protect the home button from being scratched and the fingerprint sensor from being damaged. 

What will Tim Cook reveal on 10 Sept? AP

What will Tim Cook reveal on 10 Sept? File photo from AP

Do note that Apple also purchased Authentec, a company which provides security hardware and software for PCs and mobile devices, last year in July.

What does Authentec offer: It provides mobile security software licenses to companies like Samsung, and fingerprint sensor technology to computer makers such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc.

According to a Reuters report, at the time of acquisition Apple also paid AuthenTec $7.5 million for some product development work. The report adds that according to agreement filed with regulators it hinted at the development of “a 2D fingerprint sensor for Apple that is suitable for use in an Apple product.”

So there you have it : a fingerprint sensor made of sapphire could the biggest change to the iPhone.

Dual-Flash Camera: MacRumors also released pictures of an iPhone with a camera with dual-LED flash. The photograph showed two different coloured LED flashes next to the rear camera. Again this could just be prototype device but if Apple does release an iPhone with dual-LED it could lead to better white balance in photos. You could have the option of using the LED that matches the scene.

It’s also be rumoured that Apple will finally offer a 12-or-13 megapixel camera. According to this report, Apple could use Sony’s 13 megapixel sensor of its camera.

Design and Processor: It’s highly unlikely that Apple will launch an iPhone 5S with 5-inch screen or even coloured shells. These could show up much later by next year but for now the iPhone 5S screen is likely to be 4-inch. The processor is likely to be the newer A7 chip according to MacRumors.

iPhone 5S is likely to have 1GB RAM like the iPhone 5.

The low-cost iPhone: This is one rumour that refuses to die, given that the China Labour Watch report talked extensively about how factory-workers at Apple supplier Pegatron were assembling these smartphones. The report said that, At this moment, in Shanghai, China, workers in Apple’s supplier factory Pegatron are monotonously working long overtime hours to turn out a scaled-back, less expensive version of the iPhone.  What is not known is whether the device will make an appearance in September or later.

It is rumoured that the low-cost iPhone will have coloured shells and a plastic rear cover. According to a report in Apple Insider, the cheaper version of the iPhone is likely to come with an eight megapixel camera, the same A6 processor and 1 GB RAM as the current iPhone 5.

The report states that a picture of supposed “iPhone 5 Lite” or “iPhone 5C” rear camera was published on Thursday on Chinese site IT168. You can check out the Chinese report here.

According to a report in BusinessInsider, the low-cost iPhone will be called iPhone 5C. Apparently the C stands for colour. BusinessInsiderhas based this on secondary sources but is confident about the accuracy of the name.

Overall it doesn’t look like Apple will be offering too many drastic changes with the iPhone 5S. Unless of course it also launches a cheaper version of the smartphone which could generate some serious competition for the Android army.