Sunday, April 30, 2017

Touch ID security issues are less than i thought.

My Touch ID security post of a year ago didn’t get any reaction. So today, while working on a bak chapter, I decided to retest my concerns.

On my own phone, with iTunes Store Touch ID purchase enabled, I added a new fingerprint of mine. To do this I only needed my iPhone unlock code. I then purchased a song (Cheryl Crow’s Heartbeat Away fwiw).

I wondered if iOS would let me complete the purchase — in which case there would have been a risk issue. It didn’t work that way though. Despite my having Touch ID enabled for iTunes purchases iOS requested by Apple ID password — even though I used an old fingerprint. Adding the new fingerprint seems to have put my phone into a ‘enhanced risk’ category, so Apple ID credentials were required for purchase.

Once I’d entered my Apple ID the first time though I was able to use my new fingerprint for the next purchase. So entering that Apple ID password “blessed” all fingerprints.

So there’s still a way to “sneak” a fingerprint into the cue that might be exploited for unauthorized purchases, but it’s a smaller window than I thought. I tried “gifting” an app to see if I could exploit that, but abruptly my iPhone stopped being able to gift at all. So I couldn’t test. (Bug?).

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