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MacRumors
Jul 27, 2012, 06:58 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/27/apple-to-buy-authentec-for-356-million/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/07/logo.jpg

(http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/07/logo.jpg)Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/27/us-authentec-acquisition-apple-idUSBRE86Q0KD20120727) reports that Apple will be acquiring AuthenTec for $356 million.AuthenTec Inc (AUTH.O), which makes fingerprint sensor chips used in personal computers, said it agreed to be bought by Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for about $356 million.Reuters describes AuthenTec as a maker of fingerprint sensor chips. AuthenTec recently had announced (http://www.authentec.com/News/ViewNews/tabid/473/ArticleId/518/Samsung-Selects-AuthenTecs-VPN-Security-to-Enhance-Enterprise-Security-in-New-Android-Smartphones-Ta.aspx) a partnership with Samsung as their VPN Security provider.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/07/ATRIX_AES1750_AuthenTec-500x183.png

(http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/07/ATRIX_AES1750_AuthenTec.png)
From their fact sheet (http://www.authentec.com/Company/FactSheet.aspx), AuthenTec describes its technology: AuthenTec's award-winning smart fingerprint sensors provide multiple touch-powered features that extend beyond user authentication to include convenience, personalization and touch control. The Company's TouchChip area fingerprint sensors and modules comply with government and industry standards and offer the ruggedness, strong security and ease of integration needed for quick and broad deployment. TouchChip sensors dramatically lower the size, cost and power of fingerprint sensors versus optical-based fingerprint solutions. AuthenTec's "swipe sensors" is described to use sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin's surface.

Notably, one sensor (http://www.authentec.com/a/Production/smartsensors_mobile/AES2750.aspx) is marketed for use specifically for authentication for mobile wallets. Apple has been rumored to be looking into mobile payments. Their Passbook (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/11/apple-announces-ios-6-with-siri-improvements-facebook-integration-new-maps-app-passbook-for-fall-release/) technology in iOS 6 is a first step, but Apple has yet to deploy a more full scale system. Fingerprint authentication could fit into a larger payment strategy.

SeekingAlpha (http://seekingalpha.com/article/635151-authentec-a-slit-in-the-iphone-5) had recently speculated that AuthenTech may supply security chips for the next generation iPhone. Apple is not going to the trouble of adding a biometric sensor just so that you don't have to use a four digit password. They are adding a biometric sensor so that the iPhone can become a safe and secure payment device.

Article Link: Apple to Buy Mobile Security Company AuthenTec for $356 Million (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/27/apple-to-buy-authentec-for-356-million/)



gramirez2012
Jul 27, 2012, 06:59 AM
hmm...fingerprint security for iPhone? that would be cool.

refect
Jul 27, 2012, 07:02 AM
I've always wanted a finger print scanner to unlock my phone. My only question is where are these "20 million mobile phones" that already have this tech?

chaosconan
Jul 27, 2012, 07:03 AM
hmm...fingerprint security for iPhone? that would be cool.

This is awesome. Next version of Macbook, iMac, iPhone, iPad, and iPhone will have a finger scanner located near the pad or will replace the menu button on the iPhone and it will automatically log you in instead of having to enter your username and password.

Of course this has been tried before with notebooks and PDA's but with dismal failure. But Apple will make it better and succeed. :D

samac92
Jul 27, 2012, 07:04 AM
from 9to5mac:
Just last week, AuthenTec entered an agreement (http://www.authentec.com/News/ViewNews/tabid/473/ArticleId/518/Samsung-Selects-AuthenTecs-VPN-Security-to-Enhance-Enterprise-Security-in-New-Android-Smartphones-Ta.aspx) with Samsung to implement secure VPNs for its Android hardware. Whoops.

wildpod
Jul 27, 2012, 07:04 AM
They need to put the sensor behind the screen.

AlexBass
Jul 27, 2012, 07:07 AM
Touchscreen macintosh? Imagine the price :|

----------

This is awesome. Next version of Macbook, iMac, iPhone, iPad, and iPhone will have a finger scanner located near the pad or will replace the menu button on the iPhone and it will automatically log you in instead of having to enter your username and password.

Of course this has been tried before with notebooks and PDA's but with dismal failure. But Apple will make it better and succeed. :D

Apple always make it better and succeed, there will be no exception here : )

adildacoolset
Jul 27, 2012, 07:09 AM
Fingerprint sensors will be in future apple products people!!(And I don't think they'll merely be for locking and unlocking)

DTphonehome
Jul 27, 2012, 07:09 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

samh004
Jul 27, 2012, 07:09 AM
Hope to see this tech in the next iPhone, would be pretty cool, though as I don’t use a passcode already, security isn’t really that big for me :p

That said, I can imagine this tying into iCloud and iTunes for a more futuristic security system for accounts. Would be interesting.

rmwebs
Jul 27, 2012, 07:10 AM
Touchscreen macintosh? Imagine the price :|

----------



Apple always make it better and succeed, there will be no exception here : )

Other than the appearance of the scanner, what can you seriously do to improve on a fingerprint scanner based authentication system? :rolleyes:

Daalseth
Jul 27, 2012, 07:11 AM
Of course this has been tried before with notebooks and PDA's but with dismal failure.

And that's why I'm very dubious about this or any other biometrics system. All biometrics are is a digital password generated from your fingerprint. Your fingerprint unlocks a hash that is the security key. All someone has to do is steal the hash and they're in. Worst yet, you can't change your 'password' without getting a new fingerprint.

We'll see how Apple implements this but I'm skeptical.

MacBoobsPro
Jul 27, 2012, 07:12 AM
As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it. A way to secure it is with finger print technology. If your finger print it 'active' the payment will go through.

Macboy Pro
Jul 27, 2012, 07:15 AM
I'd like the ability to get a fingerprint if your phone is stolen and have it reported to a database. Bet there would be a lot less stolen phones. The alternative is a remote self destruct like a James Bond Movies. (Hot Potato anyone? ) :D

Lunchb0x8
Jul 27, 2012, 07:15 AM
I'd love a fingerprint scanner to be on iPhones, iPads, MacBook Pro and airs, and heck even the iMac.

Would sure beat a pass code for security.

vasekcz
Jul 27, 2012, 07:15 AM
This was last feature, which I miss on Apple machine after switching from IBMs (international business machine) :)

Henriok
Jul 27, 2012, 07:18 AM
Biometric and sensor companies probably have a lot more up their sleeves than just the products they have brought to market.

acidblue
Jul 27, 2012, 07:23 AM
Please note that I am a professional software engineer...

It's amazing to me that hardware companies, such as AuthenTec, who produce actual tangible products are purchased for significantly less than some silly, single shot app (like silly photo apps, and wow there was a pun in there) development companies. There is so much more needed in the engineering of hardware, and the accompanying software than there is in a stupid 'social app'. Hardware companies have to deal with real world engineering, real-world supply chain management etc. Where silly little software companies can just offload all the distribution off to the cloud. An app company can make a silly picture taking app that distorts your photos and they are all of a sudden worth a billion dollars; crazy.

/rant.

But, all-in-all, it's a cool acquisition. Hopefully they do something cool with it.

Kaibelf
Jul 27, 2012, 07:25 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

I find it hilarious how many people think they know the cost vs. benefit of Apple's acquisitions more than Tim Cook and Co. They don't just buy up companies for no reason, and they don't waste money, but, like all things, they keep it close to the chest.

vineetm
Jul 27, 2012, 07:26 AM
Great, no third party apps then :)

MacFan23
Jul 27, 2012, 07:27 AM
Biometric and sensor companies probably have a lot more up their sleeves than just the products they have brought to market.

Yeah, a lot of IP

Gasu E.
Jul 27, 2012, 07:30 AM
And that's why I'm very dubious about this or any other biometrics system. All biometrics are is a digital password generated from your fingerprint. Your fingerprint unlocks a hash that is the security key. All someone has to do is steal the hash and they're in. Worst yet, you can't change your 'password' without getting a new fingerprint.

We'll see how Apple implements this but I'm skeptical.

But, in this case the hash would be coming from a physical chip hardwired inside the phone. So the hacker would also need to somehow emulate that as well.

chaosconan
Jul 27, 2012, 07:31 AM
And that's why I'm very dubious about this or any other biometrics system. All biometrics are is a digital password generated from your fingerprint. Your fingerprint unlocks a hash that is the security key. All someone has to do is steal the hash and they're in. Worst yet, you can't change your 'password' without getting a new fingerprint.

We'll see how Apple implements this but I'm skeptical.

You could use it for Electronic Signature. When you buy something or need to sign some contract on your iPhone or Macbook the scanner can be used for Electronic Signatures instead of what they have today where you enter your name twice which I think is a silly way of doing Electronic Signature.

kalsta
Jul 27, 2012, 07:31 AM
I'd like the ability to get a fingerprint if your phone is stolen and have it reported to a database. Bet there would be a lot less stolen phones. The alternative is a remote self destruct like a James Bond Movies. (Hot Potato anyone? ) :D

Now that's a great idea! Er… the fingerprint capturing I mean. :) Now all you have to do is address privacy concerns, get it government approved, coordinate with police systems and databases… Yep, I can see it coming to the iPhone in 2024.

naveah
Jul 27, 2012, 07:32 AM
Do you guys think this has any chance of making it into the 2012 iPhone? Usually, it takes Apple some time to assimilate their acquisitions into their products (e.g., the maps companies or Siri). Maybe the 2013 iPhone?

DTphonehome
Jul 27, 2012, 07:34 AM
I find it hilarious how many people think they know the cost vs. benefit of Apple's acquisitions more than Tim Cook and Co. They don't just buy up companies for no reason, and they don't waste money, but, like all things, they keep it close to the chest.

Well obviously they know what they're doing. I'm not implying otherwise. I was just hoping geniuses such as yourself would have some more insight on this than morons like me.

AdeFowler
Jul 27, 2012, 07:37 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?
The IP alone probably makes the price reasonable. Not to mention the money Apple will receive from Samsung, should they honour the agreement. ;)

duncyboy
Jul 27, 2012, 07:37 AM
"Hey, kid! Thumb a hundred bucks to save the clock tower?!"

DTphonehome
Jul 27, 2012, 07:37 AM
Please note that I am a professional software engineer...

It's amazing to me that hardware companies, such as AuthenTec, who produce actual tangible products are purchased for significantly less than some silly, single shot app (like silly photo apps, and wow there was a pun in there) development companies. There is so much more needed in the engineering of hardware, and the accompanying software than there is in a stupid 'social app'. Hardware companies have to deal with real world engineering, real-world supply chain management etc. Where silly little software companies can just offload all the distribution off to the cloud. An app company can make a silly picture taking app that distorts your photos and they are all of a sudden worth a billion dollars; crazy.

/rant.



All of those things you described cost a lot of money, and if anything goes wrong, the whole operation struggles or fails. But an app is a relatively simple operation that has the potential to reach many many more people, and can potentially make money hand over fist with relatively little effort. That's why a popular app is worth so much.

sbrhwkp3
Jul 27, 2012, 07:38 AM
Does the blonde come with it?

krspkbl
Jul 27, 2012, 07:39 AM
I'd love to see finger print security on Apple products.

I was just thinking how they could implement it. Not sure about iPhone/iPad or that but for MacBooks they could put the sensor where the power button was. Isn't the power on button now just a key on the keyboard? It would be as simple as pressing the power key and then placing your finger on the top corner of the case and you've logged in!

BornAgainApple
Jul 27, 2012, 07:39 AM
I like it. I'm a little security conscious and don't use the simple passcode unlock, so the idea of not having to always input it is very appealing to this user.

pesc
Jul 27, 2012, 07:40 AM
Required reading for this who think a fingerprint scanner will "improve security".

http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-9808.html#biometrics
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/16/gummi_bears_defeat_fingerprint_sensors/

Clue: Your fingerprints are not secrets. You are spreading thousands of copies of them every day for anyone interested in gathering them.

Jayse
Jul 27, 2012, 07:45 AM
Yes please!!!

This sort of tech is definitely the future of a greater mobile payment authentication system, and could even replace 'swipe to unlock'.

Exciting times ahead!!!

Star Brood
Jul 27, 2012, 07:47 AM
If they can afford this, why can't they afford to bring back Rosetta?

koolmagicguy
Jul 27, 2012, 07:49 AM
..or will replace the menu button on the iPhone..

What in the name of Godzilla is a menu button?

adamberti
Jul 27, 2012, 07:50 AM
They do a lot more than fingerprint sofware/hardware.

http://www.authentec.com/News/ViewNews/tabid/473/ArticleId/528/Alcatel-Lucent-and-AuthenTec-enable-Portugal-Telecom-to-securely-deliver-mobile-video-to-Android-and.aspx

Reuters just speculated that's what Apple wants is their fingerprint technology. For all we know it could be their content protection technology they use for IPTV and they want to use this in the new Apple TV.

I wouldn't say for sure this means they're investigating using fingerprint scanners. It could be some little piece of technology that Apple wants more and the happen to get fingerprint technology with it.

chaosconan
Jul 27, 2012, 07:52 AM
1. Simple Authentication
2. Electronic Signature
3. Heart Rate Sensor (maybe)
4. Temperature Sensor (maybe)

Options 3 and 4 possible if they use a multipurpose scanner.

JHankwitz
Jul 27, 2012, 07:52 AM
I've always wanted a finger print scanner to unlock my phone. My only question is where are these "20 million mobile phones" that already have this tech?

Where does it claim that?

chaosconan
Jul 27, 2012, 07:53 AM
What in the name of Godzilla is a menu button?

Sorry, I meant iPhone Home Button.

Swain
Jul 27, 2012, 07:53 AM
Maybe they bought it to screw Samsung over?
Just speculating, but it might have played a factor for all we know.

koolmagicguy
Jul 27, 2012, 08:00 AM
Sorry, I meant iPhone Home Button.

Oh, for a few seconds I was really confused. :confused:


___

I'm really skeptical about fingerprint security. I really hope they don't do away with passcode protection completely.

JHankwitz
Jul 27, 2012, 08:03 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

If the do-nothing special Instagram sold for $1,000,000,000, I would say this is a real bargin.

mono1980
Jul 27, 2012, 08:03 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

If Facebook can buy Instagram for a billion dollars, this seems like a steal in comparison. You know, since it's actually a unique technology.

Pianoblack3
Jul 27, 2012, 08:11 AM
Oh, for a few seconds I was really confused. :confused:


___

I'm really skeptical about fingerprint security. I really hope they don't do away with passcode protection completely.

No offence but it wasn't hard to tell what he was meaning ;)

JHankwitz
Jul 27, 2012, 08:11 AM
Other than the appearance of the scanner, what can you seriously do to improve on a fingerprint scanner based authentication system? :rolleyes:

Same thing as Apple has always done. Taken new and/or existing technology and making it useable and affordable, and incorporating it into everyday use by the masses. This has usually been a winning business model for Apple.

Nungster
Jul 27, 2012, 08:12 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

In addition to the tech, they are able to block/control what access to the technology that Samsung will want.

paulbiscardi
Jul 27, 2012, 08:12 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

Yes, this is not your typical fingerprint sensor. They have some incredible IP and as a result, I'm sure the implementation will be unlike what we're used to.

Rogifan
Jul 27, 2012, 08:13 AM
So is Apple just buying up patents here?

Prother
Jul 27, 2012, 08:14 AM
Yes please!!!

This sort of tech is definitely the future of a greater mobile payment authentication system, and could even replace 'swipe to unlock'.

Exciting times ahead!!!
But swipe to unlock isn't for security, it's to ensure the phone doesn't unlock in your pocket with accidental button pushes. The passcode is what this would really replace. A "swipe to unlock" with this feature would probably do the trick, and if the fingerprint is not recognized then it would bring up the passcode menu. Ideal if you let friends use your phone and can tell them the passcode, but you won't have to type it in yourself every time.

RedWeasel
Jul 27, 2012, 08:14 AM
It's amazing to me that hardware companies, such as AuthenTec, who produce actual tangible products are purchased for significantly less than some silly, single shot app (like silly photo apps, and wow there was a pun in there) development companies.

Well, one was bought by Apple and the other by Facebook.
One of the two sucks big time at any rate. :D

arn
Jul 27, 2012, 08:16 AM
Please note that I am a professional software engineer...

It's amazing to me that hardware companies, such as AuthenTec, who produce actual tangible products are purchased for significantly less than some silly, single shot app (like silly photo apps, and wow there was a pun in there) development companies.

If it makes you feel any better, Instagram was purchased more for its massive number of users than its software technology.

arn

MisterK
Jul 27, 2012, 08:16 AM
Apple realizes (I think) that the goal is not replacing a credit card. That's a short-sighted goal. Apple WILL replace the credit card, of course, but as a stop-gap measure. Swiping your iPhone will charge to your iTunes account, which is tied to whatever credit card you want. Eventually this middle-man route also leaves Apple to negotiate better deals or remove the credit card companies altogether and you'll not notice (or care) because the system will be the same; you'll still be charging to your AppleID. But, like I said, this is all stop-gap.

The real goal is to replace the entire wallet and maybe even my keys. Why replace the credit card when I still have to carry around my driver's license, passport, and other IDs? I'd still have to carry a wallet anyway.This is a longer term goal, but significantly better. Your phone trusting that you are you is the first step.

deconstruct60
Jul 27, 2012, 08:21 AM
Required reading for this who think a fingerprint scanner will "improve security".
...
Clue: Your fingerprints are not secrets. You are spreading thousands of copies of them every day for anyone interested in gathering them.

Crappy readers are like crappy locks and crappy crypto.

The reader can read more than just a surface artifacts of a fingerprint. It will be much harder to duplicate the living skin underneath a valid fingerprint.

The Authen Tec scanners measure the "live layer" of the finger. Likely a variation on using Ultrasonic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fingerprint_recognition#Ultrasonic

This means you'd need an very accurate 3D model of the "cloned" fingerprint to make it work. Mix in a temperature sensor ( IR reader to detect cold plastic clones or the movie gimmick of chopped off fingers ) and it is pretty good "one factor" in a "two factor" identification system.


P.S. this is similar to "face detection" unlock. A simple recognition is weak. A recognition that can discern a flat picture of a face from a real 3D face is are in different "ball parks" as far as effectiveness.

BrentT
Jul 27, 2012, 08:25 AM
Biometric identification is our future. Credit cards are just numbers issued to ID you. Drivers licenses and passports add a photo to the number. None of these are very good at really confirming your identity for purchases, access to an ATM, or entering a country.

Biometric ID at the phone can add a layer of security to entry PINs and passwords. I wish there was retinal scans built in to the phone. I saw a demo of an ATM using retinal scans. The ATM instantly recognized you and displayed your name. Very cool. No cards needed but it did want a PIN for extra security.

danielsutton
Jul 27, 2012, 08:25 AM
Do you guys think this has any chance of making it into the 2012 iPhone? Usually, it takes Apple some time to assimilate their acquisitions into their products (e.g., the maps companies or Siri). Maybe the 2013 iPhone?

Apple may have worked out a deal to include biometric chips in their phones before they acquired the company. So, it may be possible that the iPhone 5, due out in October, will have this technology built in.

I believe that Apple will also build these chips into their glass trackpads on MacBook Pro systems, as well as Magic Trackpads that are used on iMac and Mac Pro desktop systems, so that users can perform multitouch gestures to log into their computers. Very cool stuff.

trip1ex
Jul 27, 2012, 08:28 AM
They will build fingerprint sensors into the trackpads of Macs and the touchscreens of iOS devices.

iSee
Jul 27, 2012, 08:29 AM
Please note that I am a professional software engineer...

It's amazing to me that hardware companies, such as AuthenTec, who produce actual tangible products are purchased for significantly less than some silly, single shot app (like silly photo apps, and wow there was a pun in there) development companies. There is so much more needed in the engineering of hardware, and the accompanying software than there is in a stupid 'social app'. Hardware companies have to deal with real world engineering, real-world supply chain management etc. Where silly little software companies can just offload all the distribution off to the cloud. An app company can make a silly picture taking app that distorts your photos and they are all of a sudden worth a billion dollars; crazy.

/rant.

But, all-in-all, it's a cool acquisition. Hopefully they do something cool with it.

The reason those "silly" and "stupid" scocial apps are worth a lot is because they have managed to (seeming at least) acquire a resource much more valuable than the ability to produce physical products: eyeball-hours / month. That is, they've seemingly figured out how to get a lot of people to stare at a rectangle of space for long pediods of time and repeatedly -- the contents of which a company can (partially) control.

I don't think Instagram was worth $1B either, but it's silly and stupid to call what they did silly and stupid. Also, Instagram managed to acquire all those eyeball-hours / month extremely efficiently ($ spent per eyeball), which I assume helped them get that crazy valuation.

edit: oops no less than Arn himself beat me to it (and said it more concisely as well).

Pilgrim1099
Jul 27, 2012, 08:37 AM
Apple realizes (I think) that the goal is not replacing a credit card. That's a short-sighted goal. Apple WILL replace the credit card, of course, but as a stop-gap measure. Swiping your iPhone will charge to your iTunes account, which is tied to whatever credit card you want. Eventually this middle-man route also leaves Apple to negotiate better deals or remove the credit card companies altogether and you'll not notice (or care) because the system will be the same; you'll still be charging to your AppleID. But, like I said, this is all stop-gap.

The real goal is to replace the entire wallet and maybe even my keys. Why replace the credit card when I still have to carry around my driver's license, passport, and other IDs? I'd still have to carry a wallet anyway.This is a longer term goal, but significantly better. Your phone trusting that you are you is the first step.

This talk of Biometrics have been going around in private and government sectors for years. It was obvious that NFC was going to happen eventually, so that being said, Apple will NOT be the first to implement it because the Japanese/Europeans were ahead of that curve.

If I'm not mistaken, Docomo of Japan had that for some time and are doing hybrid versions of NFC this coming year, if they have'nt already.

This is why Apple decided to join in the NFC bandwagon using this biometric tech. I don't think it's the only security firm to use finger scanners. It's not that hard to figure out that not having a finger scanner would cause huge problems with iphone owners with children. It's to prevent tampering with the 'digital wallet'.

The biometrics thing is not new as it has been around for a while but not in the public eye. Government/Military/Private sectors already have them, I'm quite sure, for security clearance reasons.

Abazigal
Jul 27, 2012, 08:39 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

You are overlooking the fact that this is Apple's looking at how they can best integrate it with their current tech. They will find some what to make it unique and let people wonder why it was done that way before. ;)

rmwebs
Jul 27, 2012, 08:40 AM
Same thing as Apple has always done. Taken new and/or existing technology and making it useable and affordable, and incorporating it into everyday use by the masses. This has usually been a winning business model for Apple.

But it is both usable and affordable and available in every day products already...thats the point. Unlike the music, phone and tablet markets, this really is already as best as it'll ever be...it's fingerprint scanning. All Apple can do is add it to their own products, and give it a few fancy uses (e.g allow a fingerprint scan to pay for something) - aside from that, there really is absolutely zip that can be done to improve it.

madsci954
Jul 27, 2012, 08:40 AM
So instead of worrying about a computer hacker stealing my digits, I have to worry about some guy with a butcher knife stealing my digits? :p

Thunderhawks
Jul 27, 2012, 08:45 AM
Now that's a great idea! Er… the fingerprint capturing I mean. :) Now all you have to do is address privacy concerns, get it government approved, coordinate with police systems and databases… Yep, I can see it coming to the iPhone in 2024.

and wait when the first discussions happen that it's not failsafe.

It is possible to hack off somebody's finger to use it.

We'll see a lot of people that can't point by then:-)

Mac21ND
Jul 27, 2012, 08:46 AM
So instead of worrying about a computer hacker stealing my digits, I have to worry about some guy with a butcher knife stealing my digits? :p

Just like every sci-fi movie made in the last 30 years where they steal someone's eye, fingers or whatever to get access to the super-high-tech-secure room.

tbrinkma
Jul 27, 2012, 08:50 AM
But, in this case the hash would be coming from a physical chip hardwired inside the phone. So the hacker would also need to somehow emulate that as well.

So far, even the best finger print scanners on the market can be faked out by a replica finger print molded in gelatin. The absolute best ones require the gelatin to be slightly moist (licked), and warm. Those aren't exactly a high barrier to surpass. Especially since the person trying to get into a phone 'protected' by a fingerprint scanner is very likely to have a copy of the necessary fingerprint, all over the outside of that very same phone. :(

Biometrics are *passable* for identification, but *lousy* for authentication.

For clarification:
Identification = "This is who I claim to be."
Authentication = "Here's proof I am who I claim to be."

Identification is your user id, authentication is your proof that the user id actually belongs to you.
Biometrics being used for identification are fine. Biometrics being used for authentication are blatant misuses of technology, and provide a permanently broken security model.

The Phazer
Jul 27, 2012, 09:01 AM
They do a lot more than fingerprint sofware/hardware.

http://www.authentec.com/News/ViewNews/tabid/473/ArticleId/528/Alcatel-Lucent-and-AuthenTec-enable-Portugal-Telecom-to-securely-deliver-mobile-video-to-Android-and.aspx

Reuters just speculated that's what Apple wants is their fingerprint technology. For all we know it could be their content protection technology they use for IPTV and they want to use this in the new Apple TV.

I wouldn't say for sure this means they're investigating using fingerprint scanners. It could be some little piece of technology that Apple wants more and the happen to get fingerprint technology with it.

THIS.

Authentec do a lot of video DRM work for film studios and broadcasters.

Much more likely than ****** fingerprint scanners.

lzyprson
Jul 27, 2012, 09:05 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

It must be a big deal considering that Apple typically makes much smaller acquisitions.... atleast they didnt pay $1Billion for a photo app!!! (coughinstagramcoughfacebookcaough) haha...

markyr17
Jul 27, 2012, 09:05 AM
As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it. A way to secure it is with finger print technology. If your finger print it 'active' the payment will go through.

By that same logic, credit cards payment is stupid.

WhySoSerious
Jul 27, 2012, 09:06 AM
Does the blonde come with it?

you wouldn't know what to do with her even if she did. :rolleyes:

dukebound85
Jul 27, 2012, 09:07 AM
still cant believe that instagram was bought for 1 billion when companies like this actually have a useful purpose get bought for much less

brsboarder
Jul 27, 2012, 09:07 AM
I imagine that when purchasing something you'll touch the NFC scanner and have your finger on the sensor to validate it.

lzyprson
Jul 27, 2012, 09:09 AM
THIS.

Authentec do a lot of video DRM work for film studios and broadcasters.

Much more likely than ****** fingerprint scanners.

:D:apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:

This is pretty big news...

shulerg
Jul 27, 2012, 09:09 AM
The reason those "silly" and "stupid" scocial apps are worth a lot is because they have managed to (seeming at least) acquire a resource much more valuable than the ability to produce physical products: eyeball-hours / month. That is, they've seemingly figured out how to get a lot of people to stare at a rectangle of space for long pediods of time and repeatedly -- the contents of which a company can (partially) control.


Instagram and a whole lot of these social apps are silly and stupid. Eyeball-hours / month only mean something if advertisers connect with the eyeballs--and so far there is no proof that social network/in-app adverts lead to significant purchasing behavior. Hence GM and other companies that have given up on FB and the like. I agree with you that Instagram is not worth $1 billion. Far from it.

But, back on topic: using biometrics like this sounds promising. However, I remain wary, given the fact that companies and the govt have excellent track records of abusing such info.

Mark Booth
Jul 27, 2012, 09:10 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

I'm sure AuthenTec has patents on their technology. Patents are the golden goose.

Mark

WhySoSerious
Jul 27, 2012, 09:11 AM
Apple realizes (I think) that the goal is not replacing a credit card. That's a short-sighted goal. Apple WILL replace the credit card, of course, but as a stop-gap measure. Swiping your iPhone will charge to your iTunes account, which is tied to whatever credit card you want. Eventually this middle-man route also leaves Apple to negotiate better deals or remove the credit card companies altogether and you'll not notice (or care) because the system will be the same; you'll still be charging to your AppleID. But, like I said, this is all stop-gap.

The real goal is to replace the entire wallet and maybe even my keys. Why replace the credit card when I still have to carry around my driver's license, passport, and other IDs? I'd still have to carry a wallet anyway.This is a longer term goal, but significantly better. Your phone trusting that you are you is the first step.

Apple is NOT replacing credit cards.....EVER.

If i'm at home and I want the lady to run to the store and pick up something, I'll give her my debit card and tell her my passcode so she can purchase it. If all my cards are replaced by my phone, i'm not going to want to hand her my phone to go make a purchase when my phone contains EVERYTHING about me on it.

whooleytoo
Jul 27, 2012, 09:14 AM
As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it. A way to secure it is with finger print technology. If your finger print it 'active' the payment will go through.

I can just picture a dodgy looking guy turning up at the checkout with a shopping trolley packed with expensive goods, and trying to pay for it with an iPhone and a loose thumb... :p

Mad-B-One
Jul 27, 2012, 09:25 AM
Okay, so for adults, everything is fine. I have a fingerprint gun safe to lock out my kids (it has a key as well, but that one is in my parents-in-law's safe) and the interesting part I learned on the documentation was is that kids don't have enough markers on their fingers to make finger print scanners work. Now, that would be a bummer for all these kids wanting to have the latest phone. I understand that this technology is different since it reads the layer below your skin, but I could imagine that it faces the same problems.

carlgo
Jul 27, 2012, 09:30 AM
Passwords are the work of the devil. Horrible, the worst part of the computer experience for me. Went to order some iTunes, the first time in awhile. What a terrible experience. Are they afraid terrorists are going to steal country music? WTF, awful experience.

Hopefully, this technology ends this forever and some nervous person at Apple doesn't decide to combine passwords and fingerprints. I swear I will go to Windows if they do away with passwords and Apple doesn't.

cvaldes
Jul 27, 2012, 09:30 AM
If they can afford this, why can't they afford to bring back Rosetta?
Naturally, Apple has the cash do to it but they have deliberately chosen not to use their resources for something like that.

Why? Because Rosetta is a bandage for a dying technology being used by a quickly decreasing portion of Apple's customer base.

Since it appears that you never did figure this about Steve Jobs and Apple, I will point it out to you now: Apple is a very forward looking company. They dwell very little on the past and have minimal interest in providing legacy support.

Acquisition of companies like PA Semi, Intrinsity, Siri, C3, Anobit, and AuthenTec are about returning value to a large percentage of Apple's worldwide customer base (international sales now totals up to 62% of their revenue).

backeby
Jul 27, 2012, 09:33 AM
As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it. A way to secure it is with finger print technology. If your finger print it 'active' the payment will go through.
And I couldn't steal your card and buy stuff with it? ;)

cvaldes
Jul 27, 2012, 09:37 AM
And I couldn't steal your card and buy stuff with it? ;)
And there are an avalanche of horror stories emanating from markets (South Korea, Japan, etc.) where contactless payment systems have been used since the middle of the last decade? ;)

As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it. A way to secure it is with finger print technology. If your finger print it 'active' the payment will go through.
Seriously, it's pretty embarrassing when a large number of commenters seem to be ignorant of the fact that the world doesn't not end at the USA borders.

JAT
Jul 27, 2012, 09:38 AM
Apple is NOT replacing credit cards.....EVER.

If i'm at home and I want the lady to run to the store and pick up something, I'll give her my debit card and tell her my passcode so she can purchase it. If all my cards are replaced by my phone, i'm not going to want to hand her my phone to go make a purchase when my phone contains EVERYTHING about me on it.

Maybe you could just get her her own phone. And let her put the shoes back on.

longofest
Jul 27, 2012, 09:38 AM
my HP has an Authentec fingerprint scanner in it. It's honestly pretty slick. Instead of having my browser or the OS keep all of my login credentials or otherwise "keep me logged in", I just scan my finger and I get logged in. Very quick and much more secure, so in case my laptop is stolen, you'd have to have me physically there to log-in to anything (the stored passwords I believe are encrypted using my fingerprint signature as the key).

coolbreeze
Jul 27, 2012, 09:39 AM
So Apple will get credit for inventing a fingerprint scanner on a phone? :rolleyes:

Awesome.

Motorola must be thrilled.

longofest
Jul 27, 2012, 09:40 AM
Passwords are the work of the devil. Horrible, the worst part of the computer experience for me. Went to order some iTunes, the first time in awhile. What a terrible experience. Are they afraid terrorists are going to steal country music? WTF, awful experience.

Hopefully, this technology ends this forever and some nervous person at Apple doesn't decide to combine passwords and fingerprints. I swear I will go to Windows if they do away with passwords and Apple doesn't.

I already have done away with passwords on my HP with a fingerprint scanner (by Authentec). I just swipe my finger to log-in.

dukebound85
Jul 27, 2012, 09:41 AM
So Apple will get credit for inventing a fingerprint scanner on a phone? :rolleyes:

Awesome.

Motorola must be thrilled.

And all the apple fans will say how it was Apple that first brought scanners to portable devices as Apple will say, like they did with facetime, how this is really the first time this tech could be incorpated into portable devices to the "wows" of everyone in the room

WhySoSerious
Jul 27, 2012, 09:43 AM
Maybe you could just get her her own phone. And let her put the shoes back on.

so what if i'm on the phone with a person/business and the wife comes over and says "hey, i need to pick up xyz at the store, i need the iphone since it has our payment info on it".

so stupid.

keep the credit cards.

Macboy Pro
Jul 27, 2012, 09:47 AM
Now that's a great idea! Er… the fingerprint capturing I mean. :) Now all you have to do is address privacy concerns, get it government approved, coordinate with police systems and databases… Yep, I can see it coming to the iPhone in 2024.

Unfortunately, you are right. We can't even get people to provide an ID to vote, let alone fingerprint thieves. :D

BC2009
Jul 27, 2012, 09:50 AM
I've always wanted a finger print scanner to unlock my phone. My only question is where are these "20 million mobile phones" that already have this tech?

Custom made for military? I've never seen them.

----------

Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

Most fingerprint scanners in use today on computers are optical scanners. They require a separate sensor. From what I gather here is that this technology uses a capacitive touch screen to gather the input. Since Apple already does capacitive touch on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Magic Trackpad and every MacBook this technology is a much better fit for them than what Lenovo has been putting on their laptops since IBM made Thinkpads.

boronathan
Jul 27, 2012, 09:52 AM
Custom made for military? I've never seen them.

----------



Most fingerprint scanners in use today on computers are optical scanners. They require a separate sensor. From what I gather here is that this technology uses a capacitive touch screen to gather the input. Since Apple already does capacitive touch on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Magic Trackpad and every MacBook this technology is a much better fit for them than what Lenovo has been putting on their laptops since IBM made Thinkpads.

The Motorola atrix has a fingerprint scanner. Been about a year and a half I think

BC2009
Jul 27, 2012, 09:54 AM
Do you guys think this has any chance of making it into the 2012 iPhone? Usually, it takes Apple some time to assimilate their acquisitions into their products (e.g., the maps companies or Siri). Maybe the 2013 iPhone?

Here's hoping that Apple had already partnered with them for the new iPhone and liked them so much that they decided to buy the company.

----------

The Motorola atrix has a fingerprint scanner. Been about a year and a half I think

Cool. Is it optical or touch based?

boronathan
Jul 27, 2012, 10:00 AM
Here's hoping that Apple had already partnered with them for the new iPhone and liked them so much that they decided to buy the company.

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Cool. Is it optical or touch based?

I believe it's optical with sensor on back of device

JAT
Jul 27, 2012, 10:03 AM
so what if i'm on the phone with a person/business and the wife comes over and says "hey, i need to pick up xyz at the store, i need the iphone since it has our payment info on it".

so stupid.

keep the credit cards.

First, pay attention to your own name.

Second, "our" payment info would be on her phone, too. Duh. Although, I would heartily recommend both joint and separate accounts. Fighting over money is reduced.

Iconoclysm
Jul 27, 2012, 10:03 AM
Other than the appearance of the scanner, what can you seriously do to improve on a fingerprint scanner based authentication system? :rolleyes:

This reminds me of Palm's comments about Apple making a phone.

WhySoSerious
Jul 27, 2012, 10:13 AM
First, pay attention to your own name.

Second, "our" payment info would be on her phone, too. Duh. Although, I would heartily recommend both joint and separate accounts. Fighting over money is reduced.

what's my internet forum handle have to do with anything? LOL. OH, you must think you're the first person to ever try and be clever with that...how cute...

what if my wife doesn't want an iphone? what if she wants a flip phone? or a phone that doesn't support payment access? not everyone uses and iphone or latest android....

the phone will never, ever replace the plastic credit card. it may server as a substitute, but not replacement. they will always be around.

JGowan
Jul 27, 2012, 10:13 AM
I suppose I'm an old fogey, but I'll never use my phone for payment. Sounds like giving thieves one more way of stealing to me.

piecloud
Jul 27, 2012, 10:15 AM
As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it. A way to secure it is with finger print technology. If your finger print it 'active' the payment will go through.

As it stands Credit Card payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your Card and buy stuff with it.

JGowan
Jul 27, 2012, 10:26 AM
so what if i'm on the phone with a person/business and the wife comes over and says "hey, i need to pick up xyz at the store, i need the iphone since it has our payment info on it".

so stupid.

keep the credit cards.Well, whoever said the phone would be your only means of payment? Of course, you'd have a backup card too. I can just imagine the alternative... "gee, I'd like to pay for this, but my phone just ran out of power!"

Honestly, I don't see the point of all this. You either slide a card through a slot or you wave you phone over it. Being that you can't have your drivers license, this isn't going to allow you to leave you wallet at home. You'll need it for the DL... so stick your CC in there too.

I like the card better as I prefer to give the teller my card and show her my driver's license so that there's some proof to who I am. I also write, SHOW ID on the back of my card instead of signing my name so the clerk will ask to see my DL. To me, that's secure.

To me, the waving of some device seems insecure and can be taken advantage of. I'll never do it.

rjohnstone
Jul 27, 2012, 10:33 AM
The Motorola atrix has a fingerprint scanner. Been about a year and a half I think

Here's hoping that Apple had already partnered with them for the new iPhone and liked them so much that they decided to buy the company.

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Cool. Is it optical or touch based?

I believe it's optical with sensor on back of device
I miss my old Atrix.

The scanners on the Atrix are touch based, not optical.
Same with the newer ThinkPads.
They use AuthenTec touch based scanners. (Black membrane)

I haven't seen an optical based FP scanner on a laptop in years.
They're too easy to fool.

thebeans
Jul 27, 2012, 10:47 AM
Seems like a high price for what doesn't look like a particularly unique technology. Am I missing something?

Yes. But you have to wait for it.

cvaldes
Jul 27, 2012, 10:49 AM
so what if i'm on the phone with a person/business and the wife comes over and says "hey, i need to pick up xyz at the store, i need the iphone since it has our payment info on it".

so stupid.

keep the credit cards.
Uh, no.

And NFC-enable smartphone would not replace your wallet, as you will still deal with merchants and organizations that don't offer NFC payments.

What this does is reduce the number of cards you have in your wallet (particularly things like loyalty cards), reduces the number of times you need to pull out your wallet to dig around for those cards, and speeds up transactions.

Example: let's both buy a Caltrain ticket at the Mountain View train station to Millbrae, then switch to BART.

You: stand in line (likely behind 2-4 other people). You select the destination, type of tickets (adult, one-way), number of tickets, then payment type. Cash? Start insert bills, but be prepared to have the ticket vending machine spit back a couple, especially if the bills you are used aren't crisp. Wait about ten seconds for ticket, receipt and change. Credit? Swipe card. Maybe several times, the card reader is finicky. Wait for authorization, ticket, and receipt. Likely you have spent two minutes on your transaction and you waited behind several people who had similar transactions unless they're newbies, at which point you are likely to see some 5-7 minute transactions as people fumbled through the menu options and instructions. When we get to Millbrae, walk to the BART platform and repeat. Take your paper ticket and insert into BART fare gate.

Me: wave wallet over Clipper Card reader. Confirmation in two seconds. At Millbrae Caltrain, wave wall over Clipper Card reader to indicate that's where my Caltrain travel terminated. Walk to BART fare gate, wave wallet over Clipper Card reader. Fare gate opens in about a second.

Your transaction times: maybe 3-5 minutes.
My transaction times: maybe 5 seconds.

That's actually what drove widespread adoption of the "osaifu keitai" (literally "wallet phone") in Japan in 2005. You could use it as a transit pass.

I'd love to have NFC-enabled payments on a smartphone, and I could remove the Clipper Card from my wallet.

Again, we need to remind dim-witted people that NFC-enabled payment systems do not replace wallets. They streamline transactions, provides a reviewable record of transactions online, and reduces the number of cards one needs to carry.

NFC payments don't help at the little mom-and-pop ramen shop or taqueria. Heck, the best dive bars in SF are cash only. Even a credit card will not be accepted as payment.

No one is forcing you to use an NFC-enabled smartphone as your sole payment instrument.

Perhaps some day, you will get a chance to visit a place that actually has a wide range of merchants and services that provide payment options in a multitude of ways. Luckily, both Caltrain and BART still let Luddites pay with cash.

Mad-B-One
Jul 27, 2012, 10:50 AM
Passwords are the work of the devil. Horrible, the worst part of the computer experience for me. Went to order some iTunes, the first time in awhile. What a terrible experience. Are they afraid terrorists are going to steal country music? WTF, awful experience.

Hopefully, this technology ends this forever and some nervous person at Apple doesn't decide to combine passwords and fingerprints. I swear I will go to Windows if they do away with passwords and Apple doesn't.

Well, you can configure Windows to automatically log on up until Windows 7. Sometimes you haved to use TweakUI, but that's free anyways. In Windows 8, I didn't find this option, yet. I totally agree - passwords are made by the devil. At work, I have to change my PW every 30 days and it cannot be one of the 24(!) last used ones. The result is that you can bet that 95% ot the people have a password ending in a double digit (01-24). How unpredictable.

chrisbru
Jul 27, 2012, 11:07 AM
Apple is NOT replacing credit cards.....EVER.

If i'm at home and I want the lady to run to the store and pick up something, I'll give her my debit card and tell her my passcode so she can purchase it. If all my cards are replaced by my phone, i'm not going to want to hand her my phone to go make a purchase when my phone contains EVERYTHING about me on it.

See - you're not looking at the bigger picture. You won't have to hand her your phone... You'll just tap her name in your contact list, type in the amount of $$ to transfer to her device, authenticate, and then she can go on her merry way and use her device to pay for the items with your money.

This obviously isn't the only implementation, but we all know Apple is good at innovating new approaches to situations that none of us have even considered.

----------

Well, whoever said the phone would be your only means of payment? Of course, you'd have a backup card too. I can just imagine the alternative... "gee, I'd like to pay for this, but my phone just ran out of power!"

Honestly, I don't see the point of all this. You either slide a card through a slot or you wave you phone over it. Being that you can't have your drivers license, this isn't going to allow you to leave you wallet at home. You'll need it for the DL... so stick your CC in there too.

I like the card better as I prefer to give the teller my card and show her my driver's license so that there's some proof to who I am. I also write, SHOW ID on the back of my card instead of signing my name so the clerk will ask to see my DL. To me, that's secure.

To me, the waving of some device seems insecure and can be taken advantage of. I'll never do it.


I think in order for a full mobile phone wallet, there will have to be a way to do a digital driver's license/official identification alternative. I don't know what that is, but i'm sure someone can figure it out.

RE: Your "SHOW ID" failproof - how often do stores actually ask to see your ID? I have that one on of my cards, and I'd say I get asked maybe once a month. A significant number of stores have machines where you are the only one to touch your card, and several more have cashiers who don't care enough to check the back of the card anyway.

sbrhwkp3
Jul 27, 2012, 11:12 AM
you wouldn't know what to do with her even if she did. :rolleyes:

Choke myself? Paint her? Paint her and choke myself?

sinsin07
Jul 27, 2012, 11:18 AM
To me, the waving of some device seems insecure and can be taken advantage of. I'll never do it.

At one time in history people thought the same thing about banks, ATMs and debit cards. There are still a lot of people who refuse to either withdraw or make a deposit in a ATM.

Doesn't mean technology advancement is going to wait for your "sensibilities".

"What, deposit my money instead of keeping it under my mattress?"

JAT
Jul 27, 2012, 11:20 AM
what's my internet forum handle have to do with anything? LOL. OH, you must think you're the first person to ever try and be clever with that...how cute...

what if my wife doesn't want an iphone? what if she wants a flip phone? or a phone that doesn't support payment access? not everyone uses and iphone or latest android....

the phone will never, ever replace the plastic credit card. it may server as a substitute, but not replacement. they will always be around.
You really should take all the straw and just burn it. I didn't say that. You did.

And the answer is: your wife can find her own means of payment if she doesn't want to have an NFC phone. And seriously, let her put the shoes on, it's not 1955 anymore.

nagromme
Jul 27, 2012, 11:32 AM
The real goal is to replace the entire wallet and maybe even my keys. Why replace the credit card when I still have to carry around my driver's license, passport, and other IDs? I'd still have to carry a wallet anyway.This is a longer term goal, but significantly better. Your phone trusting that you are you is the first step.

A slow process, but I agree!

I’d still want to carry ONE thin form of non-powered backup ID, which could be the jumping off point for accessing my bank accounts, services... maybe a locksmith... if my phone were to be lost/destroyed. A driver’s license in a super-thin sleeve with some useful phone numbers written on it and a couple $20s might be sufficient! Really just an emergency measure that it would be OK to skip, in the future I envision.

OrangeSVTguy
Jul 27, 2012, 11:33 AM
How awesome would a finger print reader/scanner for the home button to scan your finger print to unlock your phone or use it as an authenticater when using your phone basically as your debit/credit card with the NFC chip.

It won't be long before our "smart phones" are controlling everything in our lives. They can already start our cars, change the temperatures in our house as well as change the channels on our TVs. One universal device To carry around that does it all. Maybe one day they will be embedded into our bodies...

cvaldes
Jul 27, 2012, 11:34 AM
So is Apple just buying up patents here?
Note that Apple has made relatively few acquisitions, so it is unlikely to be a patent grab.

When Apple buys companies, they are buying something with concrete usefulness than can be eventually deployed to a growing customer base. In all cases, it may be engineering prowess and technical talent (people). Apple likely realizes that there will be some attrition and some key people will probably leave, but that the underlying technology is worth having and incorporating in a way that gives them a strategic edge on their competition.

PA Semi and Intrinsity are beefing up their ARM development efforts. The Anobit acquisition will likely contribute to future SoCs.

As we know, Siri has been fairly quickly deployed as a beta service for iPhone 4S, about a year after it was acquired.

We have yet to see the full impact of their Poly9 and C3 mapping acquisitions, but the maps in iOS 6 are probably based on that technology.

Most patents don't see the light of day in a shipping product or service anyhow, so buying an entire company to gain ownership of one or two patents doesn't seem to be a wise way to spend your money. However, if you think that the acquired company's ideas can continue to flourish and develop within your company, generating newer intellectual property that gives you an advantage over the competition, well, maybe it's worth acquiring.

Here's a Reuters article on recent Apple acquisitions and how they are being implemented:

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_21173397/apples-recent-acquisitions-focus-unique-features-devices

In some cases, we have already seen how these companies are adding new features to Apple's offerings.

Mr. Retrofire
Jul 27, 2012, 11:45 AM
hmm...fingerprint security for iPhone? that would be cool.
Fingerprints are everywhere, so the system is not secure. If someone is able to bypass the system (no fingerprint-based system is secure) Apple loses over 300 million US$.

----------

Would sure beat a pass code for security.
On the contrary.

mdelvecchio
Jul 27, 2012, 11:47 AM
As it stands NFC payment is stupid. Anyone could steal your phone and buy stuff with it.

hmm really? if only there were a way to require a personal identification number to complete NFC transactions....

Mr. Retrofire
Jul 27, 2012, 11:57 AM
Just like every sci-fi movie made in the last 30 years where they steal someone's eye, fingers or whatever to get access to the super-high-tech-secure room.
Why should they do that, if the OS (iOS in this case) is vulnerable enough?

ChrisA
Jul 27, 2012, 12:08 PM
The BEST way to implement fingerprint scanners is to hide them in the woodwork so that are not seen or notices.

For example the front door on your house has a door handle made with fingerprint scanning material and simply does not open unless you are the right person. Same with your car. There would be no scanning step, simply grab and pull.

Same with a computer. keycaps, track pad and mouse are all fingerprint sensors.

OK yes some practical issues come up. But you get the idea, the best way to use these is if you don't see them

ChrisA
Jul 27, 2012, 12:20 PM
Think how this worked 100 years ago. It was better. I'm not that old but when I was a kid there was a grocery store near my grandmother's house that still worked that way...

You cary you items to the checker and he would know you by first name. He adds up the price and asks if you are going to pay today or if he should add the price to your tab. I would say "put it on the tab" and he's pull out a book, flip to the correct page and enter the amount and date. Every week or so you'd pay off the bill. This worked because the checker knew all the regular customers.

Guess what? The local lumber yard and hardware stores ringht her in Los Angeles still work like this. I have an account at the lumber yard and I bought $11,000 worth the lumber and said "put in on the account" nd they delivered it to the job site. This works because the sales guy knows his regular customers.


So what is needed is a way to allow the checkers and sales people to know you. Today we use a driver's license but that is not as nice as the above examples. I'd prefer a camera in the store jhooked to a data base that would allow the checker to see who you are andwhat you have bough in the past and the see the last few times you were there. Thenthe checker could say "Jim, does this go on yur account? Thanks." just like checkers did 100 years ago.

cvaldes
Jul 27, 2012, 12:28 PM
The BEST way to implement fingerprint scanners is to hide them in the woodwork so that are not seen or notices.

For example the front door on your house has a door handle made with fingerprint scanning material and simply does not open unless you are the right person. Same with your car. There would be no scanning step, simply grab and pull.

Same with a computer. keycaps, track pad and mouse are all fingerprint sensors.

OK yes some practical issues come up. But you get the idea, the best way to use these is if you don't see them
Actually, the better way would be to conceal the actual, functioning fingerprint reader, but to have a fake one plainly visible as a theft deterrent.

koban4max
Jul 27, 2012, 12:50 PM
Couldn't Apple just launch their ideas rather than buying off from other companies and claim it's their original idea? lol.

DrMotownMac
Jul 27, 2012, 01:18 PM
In the movies, if someone wants your fingerprint to gain access to your offshore account, to get into a secret lab, or anything valuable like that, they simply cut off your finger and use it as a key. Of course, it's much more graphic when it's an eyeball (like in 'The Avengers' or 'Demolition Man'), but you get the idea.

If they put TOO much into this fingerprint technology, then it could be pretty dangerous. If some thug is going to mug you on the street or carjack you, what's to stop them from taking your index finger in the process? Remember, these are people who'd have no problem shooting your for a wallet or a car. Now, if the finger plus the iPhone gives them access to ALL of your credit cards, your keys, your identification, etc., then it could be kind of scary out there!

On the other hand, maybe I watch too many movies.....

dethmaShine
Jul 27, 2012, 01:47 PM
So far, even the best finger print scanners on the market can be faked out by a replica finger print molded in gelatin. The absolute best ones require the gelatin to be slightly moist (licked), and warm. Those aren't exactly a high barrier to surpass. Especially since the person trying to get into a phone 'protected' by a fingerprint scanner is very likely to have a copy of the necessary fingerprint, all over the outside of that very same phone. :(

Biometrics are *passable* for identification, but *lousy* for authentication.

For clarification:
Identification = "This is who I claim to be."
Authentication = "Here's proof I am who I claim to be."

Identification is your user id, authentication is your proof that the user id actually belongs to you.
Biometrics being used for identification are fine. Biometrics being used for authentication are blatant misuses of technology, and provide a permanently broken security model.

Ecactly. But you should understand that normal people not associated with applied security may have a hard time understanding that. Biometrics cannot be used as a replacement or substitute for digital certificates or passwords or authentication to any relevant data. Picking up fingerprints is an easy job. People will learn to do it successfully once the iPhone implements such an unlock feature through biometrics in future iOS versions.

Although biometrics maybe used for other crucial purposes, I don't see it being a usual method of authentication.

Mad-B-One
Jul 27, 2012, 01:59 PM
In the movies, if someone wants your fingerprint to gain access to your offshore account, to get into a secret lab, or anything valuable like that, they simply cut off your finger and use it as a key. Of course, it's much more graphic when it's an eyeball (like in 'The Avengers' or 'Demolition Man'), but you get the idea.

If they put TOO much into this fingerprint technology, then it could be pretty dangerous. If some thug is going to mug you on the street or carjack you, what's to stop them from taking your index finger in the process? Remember, these are people who'd have no problem shooting your for a wallet or a car. Now, if the finger plus the iPhone gives them access to ALL of your credit cards, your keys, your identification, etc., then it could be kind of scary out there!

On the other hand, maybe I watch too many movies.....

Yes, this indeed sounds stupid because:
AuthenTec's "swipe sensors" is described to use sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin's surface.
In other words: you cut off the finger and you cannot access at all. Not even the person you just made the 9-finger-guy/gal.

So far, even the best finger print scanners on the market can be faked out by a replica finger print molded in gelatin. The absolute best ones require the gelatin to be slightly moist (licked), and warm. Those aren't exactly a high barrier to surpass. Especially since the person trying to get into a phone 'protected' by a fingerprint scanner is very likely to have a copy of the necessary fingerprint, all over the outside of that very same phone. :(

Biometrics are *passable* for identification, but *lousy* for authentication.

For clarification:
Identification = "This is who I claim to be."
Authentication = "Here's proof I am who I claim to be."

Identification is your user id, authentication is your proof that the user id actually belongs to you.
Biometrics being used for identification are fine. Biometrics being used for authentication are blatant misuses of technology, and provide a permanently broken security model.

Ecactly. But you should understand that normal people not associated with applied security may have a hard time understanding that. Biometrics cannot be used as a replacement or substitute for digital certificates or passwords or authentication to any relevant data. Picking up fingerprints is an easy job. People will learn to do it successfully once the iPhone implements such an unlock feature through biometrics in future iOS versions.

Although biometrics maybe used for other crucial purposes, I don't see it being a usual method of authentication.



Same for your theories: This scanner does not scan the surface. Your gelatin finger won't open anything. The surface copy with dusting and tape not either.

Well, there is a way to get someone's money though: The good old pistol in the pocket behind him....

beeber
Jul 27, 2012, 02:16 PM
About three years ago I bought a Upek Eikon fingerprint reader for my MacBook Pro running Leopard. I loved it so much I bought another one for my Mac Pro. Authen-Tec bought Upek (or at least the Eikon line) and things went down hill from there. They updated the Windows software regulary, but it took them about a year to update the software for Snow Leopard, and about the same time to upgrade it for Lion. And it lost features along the way. I had to unplug the sensor on my Mac Pro, although I still use it on the laptop.

I am glad Apple bought Authen-Tec. There is certainly plenty of applications for the iOS devices but I hope they beef up the OS X side as well. The Eikon sensor works remarkably well and would be a nice built-in feature on Macs.

String
Jul 27, 2012, 02:26 PM
If it was included in the track pad the the system could periodically check the users identity and lock out a snooper. The same goes for an iPhone screen.

michealwillard
Jul 27, 2012, 03:07 PM
It would awesome to not have either A: Type in my password anytime I purchase something, log into Find My Friends, etc or B: Go with having to use a passcode each time I unlock my phone.

Having this fingerprint sensor would allow that, hopefully. Awesome technology!

DrMotownMac
Jul 27, 2012, 03:42 PM
Yes, this indeed sounds stupid because:

In other words: you cut off the finger and you cannot access at all. Not even the person you just made the 9-finger-guy/gal.

Actually, I thought it was stupid for the reason that what happens in movies usually does not represent real life. HOWEVER, your reasoning is actually incorrect. An amputated digit can survive for up to 30 hours if kept cold, 5 hours if still warm, and can successfully be reattached. Even John Wayne Bobbit was able to have his penis reattached after his wife cut it off in a crazy fit of rage. See Medscape's article on Replantation Treatment & Management (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/827648-treatment) for confirmation of what I'm saying.

Soooo, maybe not so stupid after all. Just saying.... ;)

bommai
Jul 27, 2012, 04:01 PM
"Hey, kid! Thumb a hundred bucks to save the clock tower?!"

How about my hover board?

Jb07
Jul 27, 2012, 04:31 PM
I can't wait for Apple to implement this in the iPhone and watch everyone drool over how "innovative" and "revolutionary" it is, even though it was done in the Atrix 1.5 years ago. ;) I'm just kidding, sort of...
I find the fingerprint scanner to be cool, but also a little gimmicky.

Mad-B-One
Jul 27, 2012, 05:07 PM
Actually, I thought it was stupid for the reason that what happens in movies usually does not represent real life. HOWEVER, your reasoning is actually incorrect. An amputated digit can survive for up to 30 hours if kept cold, 5 hours if still warm, and can successfully be reattached. Even John Wayne Bobbit was able to have his penis reattached after his wife cut it off in a crazy fit of rage. See Medscape's article on Replantation Treatment & Management (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/827648-treatment) for confirmation of what I'm saying.

Soooo, maybe not so stupid after all. Just saying.... ;)

That might be true about how long you can put it back on, but: We are not talking about decomposition times of tissue. We talk about a finger being scannable as biometric key. For this to work, it would probably require that the thief uses some warm blood in a bag pumping it though the finger though (and keeping up the right preasure). Otherwise, you won't have blood vesels giving you the same image. Also, no boold support would cause the tissue to shrink and deform (much like after you took a long swim or bath) distorting the tissue scan.

Well, I guess alternatively, if it is you monocygotic twin you steal the finger from, you can replace your own with it.

naveah
Jul 27, 2012, 05:55 PM
Apple may have worked out a deal to include biometric chips in their phones before they acquired the company. So, it may be possible that the iPhone 5, due out in October, will have this technology built in.

I believe that Apple will also build these chips into their glass trackpads on MacBook Pro systems, as well as Magic Trackpads that are used on iMac and Mac Pro desktop systems, so that users can perform multitouch gestures to log into their computers. Very cool stuff.

Let's hope it's already being included with the next iPhone. And very cool stuff, indeed. A lot of Wall Street analysts are saying that this iPhone is make-or-break for Apple--if it brings revolutionary features and succeeds Apple's stock will soar to levels that make $600 seem small. If the next iPhone isn't great, Apple's stock will take a huge hit. I think if they can crack NFC on the next iPhone, the next iPhone will be one incredible piece of technology. It looks like this technology would be a major component in Apple's NFC approach.

newyorksole
Jul 27, 2012, 06:16 PM
Do you guys think this has any chance of making it into the 2012 iPhone? Usually, it takes Apple some time to assimilate their acquisitions into their products (e.g., the maps companies or Siri). Maybe the 2013 iPhone?

maybe Apple bought them a while ago. it would make sense to have this technology with the whole Passbook thing.

outaru
Jul 27, 2012, 07:03 PM
I'm sure AuthenTec has patents on their technology. Patents are the golden goose.

Mark

I definitely agree with this.

If we look closely at one of AuthenTec's sensor the AES2750, several feature includes.


Hybrid, on-chip matching (confirming match with host processor)
Encrypted SPI system interface
On-chip encryption of enrolled fingerprint templates and user credentials
Adaptive, low-power fingerprint imaging
Durable TouchStone™ II package technology
Beveled package contour supporting in-glass integration options
Ultra-hard surface coating offers >9H scratch hardness for >10 million rubs
Expanded sensing width for multi-network biometric device requirements
On-chip touch navigation
Supports OAuth open standard for authorization, secure NFC, and OTP protocols


Apple could just buy these sensors from Authentec. However, they are after the technology/patent within these sensors which will allow them to place a discreet fingerprint scanner underneath the iPhone front glass.

source (http://www.machoe.com/10243/ios-fingerprint-sensor.html)

ArtOfWarfare
Jul 27, 2012, 07:03 PM
Well, on the one hand, I absolutely hate every finger scanner I've ever previously used, but on the other hand, I hated every phone prior to the iPhone.

Apple has a tendency to take old, crappy technology and make it so great that it makes every other tech company look retarded. It's like, why couldn't they do it?

The answer comes down to price. They think that it's okay to have something that's half baked if they can keep the cost low.

Then again, there's another simple thing that makes you wonder, why can't any other company do it? Is it really so difficult to not release every product your R&D comes up with before it's ready?

skunnykart
Jul 27, 2012, 09:52 PM
Note that Apple has made relatively few acquisitions, so it is unlikely to be a patent grab.

You've mentioned quite a few just in your post alone!
If Apple wants to just use the tech they can do so by paying a fee like so many companies (including Samsung) have and are doing. But buying out the whole joint? Smells like a patent grab to me.

Mak47
Jul 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
One major problem in the technology world today is passwords. Every website has one, Every web service has one, companies you do business with may require you to remember multiple...the list is ongoing.

A lot of valuable information is tied to your passwords. While it is important to keep them secure, to keep out thieves, it is also necessary to keep track of them ourselves--lest we forget them and inadvertently lock ourselves out of our own data.

For the non-tech savvy user, this is a real issue. They forget passwords all the time, especially those that aren't used very often.

What would make this a big move for the future is if it's not just used for an e-wallet, but to revolutionize digital security as a whole.

It sounds like this company has the technology for the hardware. A scanner that can be placed under an already existing touch sensitive surface, i.e. an iPhone display or Mac trackpad. This means no extra hardware to maintain or ruin external designs.

What is needed is software that ties it together with your digital life. We already see iCloud saving and syncing passwords and tying them to your individual ID. The next step is for that to go a step further and sync them reliably to all of your devices.

The following step is to add software that allows the user to command iCloud to update and manage their passwords and user ID's for their various accounts. This would require some agreement on security standards for third party access, but if Mint.com can access my bank account information I'm sure there's a way this can get accomplished.

Once this is in place, biometric authentication will make a ton of sense. Your biometric data will authenticate you on your device. Not just fingerprints, but voice print data too, using Siri. For simple transactions like logging into Facebook your existing fingerprint could suffice, but for more consequential things like accessing a bank account or updating security information you could be required to speak a random phrase that analyzes your voice.

All of this data could be stored in your iCloud account, which would be able to manage your login info and other credentials. Now, you could simply ask Siri to "Update My Security Info" and a command could be sent to all on file accounts to update your passwords with randomly generated keys.

Are there privacy and security concerns? Absolutely, but this is why I'm happy a company that makes it's profits by selling things to users is getting into it, instead of a company that makes profit by selling it's users' information.

fredsherbet
Jul 28, 2012, 02:38 AM
How about using it to distinguish between different fingers touching the screen?

Would be great for multiplayer.

Also, would be good for swipe-to-unlock loading different user profiles on a shared iPad.

sorryiwasdreami
Jul 28, 2012, 09:00 PM
I want nothing to do with this or any technology that attempts to unify my flesh and blood living soul body with a fictitious nonliving [dead] entity such as a corporation or corporate account.

This sounds like a step in conditioning us for the upcoming RFID chip that supposedly will be embedded in our skin containing our "identity" as well as bank accounts and everything else. This is about 1-2 steps removed from that technology. Conceptually, it's very close. Cell phones were the beginning; it took a long time for cell phone adaptation to occur but now nearly everyone carries one. And knowingly or not, they are also carrying a tracking device. Same with passports.

We are meant to be (and destined to be) separate from the corporation. However, we have been lead to believe we are one in the same. For example, we are lead to believe we are identified by the social security number assigned to us. However, if you flip the card over you will find that it is not to be used as identification. However, for identification in the fictitious world of commerce, we need nothing more than this number which everyone already has been given at birth, and a name an address. So that if we choose to do so, we may act as the authorized representative of that number in order to buy and sell in that fictitious world of commerce.

What the fingerprint scanner seems to promise is a forfeiting of natural rights to say and be who we truly are (which is not that number or name and address in all caps attached to ANY account), for the perceived benefits and privileges mentioned herein this thread. We don't need our thumbprint attached to any account for verification of our identity. We are already who we are. We are the ones who created these artificial systems, which puts us above them in the first place. We should be the ones asking for identification.

We need to realize the path we are on with our acceptance and our demand of these technologies. We are not synonymous with these accounts or numbers we have been assigned. Accepting (and demanding) that we are by consenting to use our flesh is foolish, naive and unfortunate, since all those accounts are owned by corporations, not by us. And so will be our fingerprint and that which is attached to it.

boronathan
Jul 28, 2012, 10:25 PM
I want nothing to do with this or any technology that attempts to unify my flesh and blood living soul body with a fictitious nonliving [dead] entity such as a corporation or corporate account.

This sounds like a step in conditioning us for the upcoming RFID chip that supposedly will be embedded in our skin containing our "identity" as well as bank accounts and everything else. This is about 1-2 steps removed from that technology. Conceptually, it's very close. Cell phones were the beginning; it took a long time for cell phone adaptation to occur but now nearly everyone carries one. And knowingly or not, they are also carrying a tracking device. Same with passports.

We are meant to be (and destined to be) separate from the corporation. However, we have been lead to believe we are one in the same. For example, we are lead to believe we are identified by the social security number assigned to us. However, if you flip the card over you will find that it is not to be used as identification. However, for identification in the fictitious world of commerce, we need nothing more than this number which everyone already has been given at birth, and a name an address. So that if we choose to do so, we may act as the authorized representative of that number in order to buy and sell in that fictitious world of commerce.

What the fingerprint scanner seems to promise is a forfeiting of natural rights to say and be who we truly are (which is not that number or name and address in all caps attached to ANY account), for the perceived benefits and privileges mentioned herein this thread. We don't need our thumbprint attached to any account for verification of our identity. We are already who we are. We are the ones who created these artificial systems, which puts us above them in the first place. We should be the ones asking for identification.

We need to realize the path we are on with our acceptance and our demand of these technologies. We are not synonymous with these accounts or numbers we have been assigned. Accepting (and demanding) that we are by consenting to use our flesh is foolish, naive and unfortunate, since all those accounts are owned by corporations, not by us. And so will be our fingerprint and that which is attached to it.

But isn't everyone is just a number?

Powerbooky
Jul 29, 2012, 05:21 AM
AuthenTec recently had announced (http://www.authentec.com/News/ViewNews/tabid/473/ArticleId/518/Samsung-Selects-AuthenTecs-VPN-Security-to-Enhance-Enterprise-Security-in-New-Android-Smartphones-Ta.aspx) a partnership with Samsung as their VPN Security provider.


Ah, if true this might fire up the great relationship Samsung already has with Apple.

Hornhonker
Jul 29, 2012, 01:04 PM
hmm...fingerprint security for iPhone? that would be cool.

Then it sends the info plus a DNA sample to a nearby Black Helicopter.:eek::D

tbrinkma
Aug 2, 2012, 02:34 PM
Yes, this indeed sounds stupid because:

In other words: you cut off the finger and you cannot access at all. Not even the person you just made the 9-finger-guy/gal.


Same for your theories: This scanner does not scan the surface. Your gelatin finger won't open anything. The surface copy with dusting and tape not either.

Well, there is a way to get someone's money though: The good old pistol in the pocket behind him....

If any of that is true, it would A) be absolutely amazing and great news for the biometrics industry, and B) be news to me despite the fact that I try to keep up on that sort of thing. Sadly, gelatin fingerprint copies which are warmed to skin temperature and slightly moistened are capable of defeating the *vast* majority of fingerprint scanners.

If you can provide a reference to the contrary, I'd be happy to hear of it (because it *would* help with the identification aspect of security, even if it still wouldn't be any good for the authentication aspect).

Unfortunately, though, I suspect you've bought into marketing claims from a manufacturer, and security researchers have already figured out how to get around the scanner. After all, that's what's happened so far for the entire lifetime of top-end 'unbreakable' biometric security devices.

And, yes, I'm actively asking for a citation if you have one because, like I said, the field is an interest of mine so I like to keep up on new developments.

Mad-B-One
Aug 2, 2012, 02:43 PM
If any of that is true, it would A) be absolutely amazing and great news for the biometrics industry, and B) be news to me despite the fact that I try to keep up on that sort of thing. Sadly, gelatin fingerprint copies which are warmed to skin temperature and slightly moistened are capable of defeating the *vast* majority of fingerprint scanners.

If you can provide a reference to the contrary, I'd be happy to hear of it (because it *would* help with the identification aspect of security, even if it still wouldn't be any good for the authentication aspect).

Unfortunately, though, I suspect you've bought into marketing claims from a manufacturer, and security researchers have already figured out how to get around the scanner. After all, that's what's happened so far for the entire lifetime of top-end 'unbreakable' biometric security devices.

And, yes, I'm actively asking for a citation if you have one because, like I said, the field is an interest of mine so I like to keep up on new developments.

Well, I just read the article, did you?

From their fact sheet (http://www.authentec.com/Company/FactSheet.aspx), AuthenTec describes its technology:AuthenTec's "swipe sensors" is described to use sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin's surface.

danielsutton
Aug 2, 2012, 11:08 PM
Then it sends the info plus a DNA sample to a nearby Black Helicopter.:eek::D

LOL! Apple should hire you to design the ultimate biometric device! :)

would be cool if in addition to fingerprint scanners, the camera could perform iris scans of the eye, which are much more foolproof than fingerprint scans.

However, a fingerprint scanner does not only scan the ridges that make up the print, but also are sensitive to the electrical impulses that travel through the body. So the gelatin finger would not be able to fool the scanner.

tbrinkma
Aug 6, 2012, 11:33 AM
Well, I just read the article, did you?

Yes, I read the article. I don't, however, take manufacturers' claims at face value. Many fingerprint scanners have been advertised/described in similar terms by their makers. So far all of them that I'm aware of have fallen to *decidedly* low-tech countermeasures (as I've described before).

I thought I was pretty clear about wanting a *citation*, not an unsupported marketing claim. Maybe not.

Mad-B-One
Aug 6, 2012, 12:26 PM
Yes, I read the article. I don't, however, take manufacturers' claims at face value. Many fingerprint scanners have been advertised/described in similar terms by their makers. So far all of them that I'm aware of have fallen to *decidedly* low-tech countermeasures (as I've described before).

I thought I was pretty clear about wanting a *citation*, not an unsupported marketing claim. Maybe not.

I thought this is a rumors forum. I doubt you can get the internal documents and code to see how it exactly works. However, I have one of their scanners right in front of me on my tablet/laptop hybrid. It's not the red light scanner you probably referring to. All you see is a golden strip, so no optical sensor. Now, if it doesn't work optically, it can only work with temerature (not likely) or current/resistence (that would be life tissue, the one underneath the "print"). Now, I'm not an expert on this but if you use current/resistence, you basically rely on life cell structures underneath the dead outer layer of the skin and that would fit the "marketing claim." If they claim it and it's not true, that would also be false advertisement - and I doubt a company would base the whole existence on a lie and make a deal with Apple. Then again, I might be wrong.

tbrinkma
Aug 6, 2012, 01:18 PM
I thought this is a rumors forum. I doubt you can get the internal documents and code to see how it exactly works. However, I have one of their scanners right in front of me on my tablet/laptop hybrid. It's not the red light scanner you probably referring to. All you see is a golden strip, so no optical sensor. Now, if it doesn't work optically, it can only work with temerature (not likely) or current/resistence (that would be life tissue, the one underneath the "print"). Now, I'm not an expert on this but if you use current/resistence, you basically rely on life cell structures underneath the dead outer layer of the skin and that would fit the "marketing claim." If they claim it and it's not true, that would also be false advertisement - and I doubt a company would base the whole existence on a lie and make a deal with Apple. Then again, I might be wrong.

If it's a current/resistance mechanism, then it's in the same category as the ones which can be tricked with a moist (licked) gelatin copy. I'm not saying that it *can't* be something new which will be harder to fake, but the marketing copy looks awfully similar to what I've seen for other finger print readers which can be faked out using extremely low-tech methods. I'm talking methods that take all of about an hour to do once you've grabbed someone's fingerprint from one of the *many* surfaces they leave them on all the time.

Again, I'd be *thrilled* to find out that someone has actually 'solved' a biometric sensor solution to the degree that it actually takes a living finger to work, but dozens of companies have made that claim before, and been proven wrong time and again.

Also, you'll notice the marketing copy doesn't actually say it can't be defeated by these methods. (Note: Even if it couldn't, it would be unusual to see it in marketing copy, because it would immediately imply that all their prior-generation devices *could be*.)

----------

I thought this is a rumors forum. I doubt you can get the internal documents and code to see how it exactly works. However, I have one of their scanners right in front of me on my tablet/laptop hybrid. It's not the red light scanner you probably referring to. All you see is a golden strip, so no optical sensor. Now, if it doesn't work optically, it can only work with temerature (not likely) or current/resistence (that would be life tissue, the one underneath the "print"). Now, I'm not an expert on this but if you use current/resistence, you basically rely on life cell structures underneath the dead outer layer of the skin and that would fit the "marketing claim." If they claim it and it's not true, that would also be false advertisement - and I doubt a company would base the whole existence on a lie and make a deal with Apple. Then again, I might be wrong.

If it's a current/resistance mechanism, then it's in the same category as the ones which can be tricked with a moist, gelatin copy. I'm not saying that it *can't* be something new which will be harder to fake, but the marketing copy looks awfully similar to what I've seen for other finger print readers which can be faked out using extremely low-tech methods. I'm talking methods that take all of about an hour to do once you've grabbed someone's fingerprint from one of the *many* surfaces they leave them on all the time.

Again, I'd be *thrilled* to find out that someone has actually 'solved' a biometric sensor solution to the degree that it actually takes a living finger to work, but dozens of companies have made that claim before, and been proven wrong time and again.

Also, you'll notice the marketing copy doesn't actually say it can't be defeated by these methods. (Note: Even if it couldn't, it would be unusual to see it in marketing copy, because it would immediately imply that all their prior-generation devices *could be*.) Like I said from the beginning, I *want* to find a biometric device which actually works according to its claims, because it would solve Identification as a security issue. From there, we could move on to forms of Authentication and Authorization which don't *also* have to serve as Identification.

Iris scans were the most recent biometric solution to fall to security researchers. Several of them claimed to require a living eyeball, because they measured the minor changes in the iris caused by the pumping of blood. Unfortunately, one of the best recently fell to engineered printouts that take a couple hours to generate from a still photo of someone's eye.

Remember, if you *can't* change it, you can't rely on it in a security setting unless it *absolutely* can't be broken in a reasonable amount of time.

You read the marketing copy included in the MR article, which said:


AuthenTec's "swipe sensors" is described to use sub-surface technology to read the live layer of skin beneath the skin's surface.

And, from there jumped immediately to:
In other words: you cut off the finger and you cannot access at all. Not even the person you just made the 9-finger-guy/gal.

The latter does not follow from the first without several assumptions being made.

Like I said from the beginning, I *want* to find a biometric device which actually works according to its claims, because it would solve Identification as a security issue. From there, we could move on to forms of Authentication and Authorization which don't *also* have to serve as Identification.

Iris scans were the most recent biometric solution to fall to security researchers. Several of them claimed to require a living eyeball, because they measured the minor changes in the iris caused by the pumping of blood. Unfortunately, one of the best recently fell to engineered printouts that take a couple hours to generate from a still photo of someone's eye.

Remember, if you *can't* change it, you can't rely on it in a security setting unless it *absolutely* can't be broken in a reasonable amount of time. (And even if it can only be broken in an *unreasonable* amount of time, if you can't change it after it's broken, you're screwed.)

danielsutton
Sep 26, 2012, 10:45 PM
Let's hope it's already being included with the next iPhone. And very cool stuff, indeed. A lot of Wall Street analysts are saying that this iPhone is make-or-break for Apple--if it brings revolutionary features and succeeds Apple's stock will soar to levels that make $600 seem small. If the next iPhone isn't great, Apple's stock will take a huge hit. I think if they can crack NFC on the next iPhone, the next iPhone will be one incredible piece of technology. It looks like this technology would be a major component in Apple's NFC approach.

I think you are right about that naveah! Apple, among other things, is very worried about security, regarding NFC technology. Biometric chips would help to calm them and help them to implement this new wireless technology in their products.

It turns out that NFC and biometrics did not make it into the iPhone 5, but no doubt Apple will add these features to new products going forward...