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Hackers offered cash, booze to crack iPhone fingerprint security

Published on Sep 20, 2013 6:27 AM
A journalist tests the the new iPhone 5S Touch ID fingerprint recognition feature at Apple Inc's announcement event in Beijing in this Sept 11, 2013 file photo. Hackers the world over are raring to put the fingerprint-reader on the new iPhone 5S that comes out Friday, betting they can slip past the layers of protection that Aple Inc has erected around the device's most-publicised high-tech feature. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BOSTON (REUTERS) - Hackers are gearing up for Friday's iPhone 5S release with a contest to crack the device's first-ever fingerprint scanner, a high-tech feature that Apple Inc says makes users' data more secure.

A micro venture capital firm joined a group of security researchers to offer more than US$13,000 (S$16,000) in cash along with bottles of booze, Bitcoin currency, books and other goodies to the first hacker who breaks the device in a contest.

Mr Arturas Rosenbacher, founding partner of Chicago's IO Capital, which donated US$10,000 to the hacking competition, said that the effort will bring together some of the hacking community's smartest minds to help Apple identify bugs that it may have missed.

"This is to fix a problem before it becomes a problem," he said. "This will make things safer."

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