When Apple launched its new iPhone 5s with a new perfect addition called Touch ID, the company also provided with some basic information about the kinds of security used to protect users’ fingerprints and data.
According to the iMore research, Apple’s new feature offers even more security.
As it was revealed, each individual Touch ID sensor is paired with its corresponding A7 processor. In order to confirm the theory, iMore switched the Touch ID sensors from two new flagship iPhones and tried to setup each smartphone. Each device failed to accept the sensors and showed an error until the sensors were swapped back to their original iPhones.
According to iMore’s Nick Arnott and Allyson Kazmucha, such system helps to prevent man-in-the-middle style attacks in which fingerprint data is intercepted between the A7 processor and Touch ID sensor by malicious third-parties. Such result makes a lot of sense and appears to be a logical security feature for such sensitive data.
To understand the process better, you can think of the Touch ID sensor as a key and the A7 processor as a door lock. Of course, if any key opened each lock, it could be copied and used to enter any house. However, each sensor and A7 chip are unique to each other, meaning that each key is able to open only one lock and any attempts to use a third-party key will result in failure.
So what does it mean for ordinary users? The answer is the security of fingerprint data stored in the device. For potential attackers is another stumming block, as any modifications on the way from the Touch ID to the processor are doomed to failure. This security mechanism is also a new headache for maintenance persons. The fact is that the removal of the iPhone 5s screen is a pretty complex process.