The Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S? It’s not limited to just human use. As Darrell Etherington over at Techcrunch has discovered, it works just fine with a cat’s paw too.
Running his Touch ID sensor through a battery of tests, Etherington discovered that it wasn’t just a fingerprint that could be used to identify a user and unlock an iPhone 5s. Over at Techcrunch, Etherington explains:
The cat’s paw worked, and while it encountered more frequent failures than did a fingerprint, it was able to unlock the phone again repeatedly when positioned correctly on the sensor. Note that no other paw pads would unlock the device, and that cats essentially have unique “fingerprints” just like people, so this doesn’t make the Touch ID sensor any less secure.
For the curious, I also tested the 5s fingerprint sensor on the heel of my palm, as well as on the inside of my forearm up around the wrist, and found that I could register and successfully unlock with both skin regions. Again, it was trickier to get the unlock to work consistently, and trying to fool the sensor by using the same part of the body on the opposing limb never worked.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t an exploit of the Touch ID sensor. It’s working as intended: once paired with a thumbprint, the heel of your palm, or a cat’s paw, only those things will unlock the device.
Awesome or stupid? You decide!