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iPhone 5S: How a cat’s paw is registered as one of five safe Touch ID profiles

The new iPhone 5S has been hailed as the safest smartphone on the market with its fingerprint recognition technology.

The iPhone 5S has proved just how secure its new password service is, by registering a cat’s paw print as a key to unlock the gadget.

Technology site, TechCrunch, wanted to test the new Touch ID feature which allows the phone’s owner and four other Touch ID profiles to unlock the phone using skin-recognition technology.

After a few false starts, the cat’s paw was recognized as one of the owner’s five chosen keys and was able to access the phone’s content.

The user was also able to use the heel of his palm and his wrist in the experiment which is described as “a broadening of the definition of what counts as a <<fingerprint>>”.

Though different parts of the body were able to be registered and then recognized as keys, when trying to fool the phone’s software by using the opposite hand than registered access was denied.

The experiment pointed out however that no other animals could be used to unlock the phone as cats have unique fingerprint like paws.

Another technology site, Pocket-Lint, found Touch ID is not just a fingerprint sensor, but a toe and fingerprint sensor.

Their tests found that a print from a toe was able to unlock the phone perfectly every time.

The iPhone 5S has proved just how secure its new password service is, by registering a cat's paw print as a key to unlock the gadget

The iPhone 5S has proved just how secure its new password service is, by registering a cat’s paw print as a key to unlock the gadget

Apple unveiled the fingerprint scanner on its iPhone 5S last week with bold claims about its high levels of encryption and security.


The firm even suggested that its Touch ID system could revolutionize smartphone security and replace the traditional, everyday password.

The Touch ID sensor is built into the premium phone’s “home” button and can be used to unlock the phone, as well as pay for shopping and apps automatically – effectively replacing the need for a password or PIN.

Speaking at the launch event in Cupertino, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said: “Half of smartphone customers do not set up passwords. [Touch ID] is an easier and more fun alternative.

“It uses key you have with you everywhere you go. Your finger.”

It works by using a small touch sensor encased around the home button that scans the layers of skin on a finger.

A user can “train” their iPhone to read and learn their unique fingerprint and when they touch the home button, the phone is unlocked.

Touch ID can also replace an App Store password when buying music, apps or books.

It uses a “laser cut sapphire crystal” to take a high-res image scan and the Touch ID software in iOS 7 determines whether the print belongs to the owner or not.

Apple said it is designed to provide “accurate readings from any angle, so the motion to unlock your device ought to be as automatic as it is now”.

It is also designed to become more accurate the more it is used.

Phil Schiller reassured users that Touch ID is secure by explaining that “all fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely inside the device’s chip” adding the prints are not stored on an Apple server, or backed up to iCloud.

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