The iPhone 5s handset’s Touch ID feature has drawn quite a bit of attention on both sides of the positive and negative spectrum, as well as speculation about how long it would take for someone to hack it. Such a mission has been given a new large incentive, with a crowdfunding campaign kicking off on Twitter offering a variety of bounties for a hacker who finds a bug.
The campaign was kicked off by Twitter user @nickdepetrillo, who offered in a tweet $100 to anyone “who successfully lifts a print off the iPhone 5s screen, reproduces it and unlocks the phone in <5 tries”. The individual who pulls it off will need to offer up proof in the form of a video of the process, and will need to meet the various requirements.
Tweets related to the contest are being tagged with the hashtag #istouchidhackedyet, as well as a website with a URL of the same name. Soon after the first bounty was offered, other users jumped into the mix, offering their own rewards, most of which are in the $50 to $100 range, but also some involving various bottles of wine and assorted items.
IO Capital has thrown down the largest bounty award, however, pledging $10,000 to whomever pulls off the task first. Anyone who wants to pledge their own bounty can do so by tweeting under the related hashtag, with the campaign requiring those who do to offer up at least $50.
The goal behind such efforts is to find security vulnerabilities or bugs that exist so that they can be corrected or accounted for before becoming an issue. The Touch ID functionality has been hailed as a way to increase security, and also makes it more convenient for the user. The technology involved uses a capacitance scanner, which relies on the ridge’s in one’s fingerprint.