Belgian group hacks iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner by replicating actual iPhone user

The iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner had been advertised as a hip way to keep snoops out of your phone. (Photo courtesy of Randychiu / Wikimedia Commons)

The iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner had been advertised as a hip way to keep snoops out of your phone. (Photo courtesy of Randychiu / Wikimedia Commons)

A group of Belgian hackers announced Friday they had bypassed the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner by replicating an iPhone user.

The Touch ID scanner had been heavily advertized as a hip new way to deter snoops and criminals, which is why the group, known as AAA (Association des Ados pour l’Anarchie), was inspired to hack it. While their accomplishment sounds like a magic feat, the members of AAA remain modest.

“Replicating an iPhone user, or almost any Apple devotee for that matter, is not difficult,” said Christophe, a founding member of AAA. “You google ‘Apple fan’ or ‘obnoxious hipster,’ or some variation of those terms, and you have millions of photos. We copied one of a man who looked very typical. Thin, mustachioed, wearing a pretty flannel like a sissy urban lumberjack. We ran the image through a program that renders flat stereotypes into three dimensions, then sent that file to a 3D printer.”

“Six hours later,” Christophe said, “voilà. There he was, telling us about a Breaking Bad meme he saw on reddit.”

Noah, an iPhone user replicant, has proven useful for tricking the iPhone 5S's fingerprint panel, but not much else.

Noah, the iPhone user replicant, has proven useful for fooling the fingerprint scanner, but not much else.

Members of AAA quickly sent photos of Noah, the world’s first iPhone user replicant, to several tech websites. AAA also uploaded a video to YouTube showing how they were able to use Noah’s fingers — freshly reddened from playing the ukulele — to get past the fingerprint scanner of an iPhone 5S.

“Our next exciting challenge is to design an iPhone user from scratch,” Christophe said. “Someone who will not only be able to fool future iPhone fingerprint scanners, but who will be such a quintessential Apple devotee that he or she will be able to correctly divine passwords for every iMac, MacBook and iPad in the universe. This person will be linked to the Apple consciousness, the cooler-than-thou chi that passes through every soul who ever fell in love with an iPod.”

“Ce sera difficile,” said another member of the group. “Not easy.”

“We must ask ourselves an important question,” Christophe said. “‘Who is this Apple devotee so loyal that he’ll spend a whole night shivering in a line with hundreds of other fanatics just to be the first to buy an overpriced and barely-updated smartphone that is, for reasons he is unwilling to disclose, better than every other thing out there?’”

While AAA is not certain what they will do with the replicant Noah, they say they might keep him around for amusement. They say it’s funny to watch him spend 30 minutes carefully messing up his hair, and they enjoy it when he shows ironic interest in Belgian pop music.