You Can’t Touch This. No, Actually You Can.

October 5, 2015

I’ll just tell you how it happened. A recent conversation.

          Friend: Do you use TouchID on your phone?

          Me: Looks at him like he has 47 heads. “Nah, man.”

          Friend: Why not?

          Me: Because it’s my fingerprint.

          Friend: I don’t get it. You have a passcode on your phone. Isn’t your fingerprint more secure and private than a passcode? How can you hack a fingerprint? You can’t!

          Me: You haven’t been to, have you?

          Friend: (laughs) No, never heard of it.

          Me: It’s no longer active. See, a few years ago when Apple came with their chest sticking out, talking about how great and secure their new TouchID technology is, as life would have it, someone had to prove them wrong. was set up by the Chaos Computer Club in Germany. They kinda had a party. They put $20,000 up and challenged someone to hack it. That is, a bunch of these hackers all chipped in and challenged one another to find a way to hack it. You know, for fun. And for $20,000. Here’s the kicker. Not only did someone do it- they did it within 24 hours. You can imagine all the time and the many millions of dollars that went into developing this technology, and here it only takes someone a day to break it, hack it.

          Friend: Wow, that’s crazy, I’d never heard about that. But the fingerprint thing is just so cool, that it's just there on our phone!

          Me: Well yeah, that’s why you never heard about it. We become intoxicated by the fancy technology. We lull ourselves into a trance. Subconsciously, we recall all the high-tech spy-CIA-FBI-KGB thriller movies we saw where the person presses their finger to a piece of glass on the wall and the door slides open, ever so smoothly. And is it secure? Well yeah! In the movies, they have to cut off the guys finger (or hand) if they need his fingerprint! But not anymore. They don’t need the fingerprint. Just a little MacGyver-styled hacking. You're done within the day. None too many is the wiser.

Until now, my friends.

The moral of the story is have fun, but be aware.


Beware the latest and greatest thing coming down the pike, lest you get hacked, cracked and tracked.


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