Cash & Booze Rewards Offered To First Person To Fool iPhone’s Fingerprint Scanner

Think you can beat Apple's fingerprint-scanning tech? There's at least $15,000 waiting to be claimed if you can.

Think you can beat Apple’s fingerprint-scanning tech? There’s at least $15,000 waiting to be claimed if you can.

As soon as Apple confirmed rumors that the new iPhone 5S would use a fingerprint-scanning technology to unlock the device, people began imagining different ways in which it could be hacked. Now that it’s finally going on sale, folks are offering rewards — from cash to booze — to the first person who can trick the fingerprint scanner into accepting a bogus print.

The creators of, and those who are now pledging prizes to the winners, aren’t looking for any sort of software-based workaround that would just disable the functionality. No, they want something straight out of an early ’90s spy thriller. In order to win, you’ll need to show video of you actually lifting a fingerprint off a surface, reproducing the fingerprint, then using that reproduction to unlock the phone.

For the person who can do this, there is a nice bounty to be had. Right now, the cash prizes being offered total more than $15,000, a good chunk of it coming from a single venture capital firm that pledged $10,000.

On top of the cash bounty, there are many, many offers of alcohol as a reward — from the generic “one bottle of wine” to more specific prizes like bottles of Patron Silver, Laphroig, Maker’s Mark, and Bulleit Bourbon (this one also comes with a “dirty sex book,” in case you needed any more encouragement).

Of course, the catch is that the winner will need to track down each of the people who pledged a reward in order to collect, which might not be worth it for some of the prizes.

Just for fun, here TechCrunch’s video of a cat unlocking an iPhone 5S:


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