BERLIN — The fingerprint-based security system used to unlock Apple’s latest iPhone can be bypassed using a household printer and some wood glue, a German hacking group contends.
A spokesman for the Chaos Computer Club said the group managed to fool the biometric sensor in the iPhone 5S over the weekend by creating an artificial copy of a genuine fingerprint.
‘‘It was surprisingly easy,’’ Dirk Engling said in a telephone interview Monday, a day after the group announced the exploit on its website.
A member of the club going by the pseudonym Starbug took a high-resolution photograph of a fingerprint left on a glass surface, printed it onto a transparent sheet, and smeared the pattern with liquid latex or wood glue. Once the glue set, it could be peeled off and placed on another finger to mimic the genuine print, said Engling.
Engling said the Chaos Computer Club, which has a history of finding security flaws in software and hardware, documented the procedure with videos so independent experts could verify it.
David Emm, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Labs, said the German group’s claims exposed the flipside of biometric security systems designed to replace passwords or PINs.
‘‘If my passcode becomes compromised, I can simply replace it with a new one — hopefully one that’s more secure. But I can’t change my fingerprint — it’s part of what I am and so I’m stuck with it,’’ Emm said.
Apple didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.