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Apple’s newly acquired fingerprint technology exposes Windows passwords

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:38PM EST

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Fingerprint-reading software that comes pre-installed on laptops sold by Dell (DELL), Sony (SNE) and at least 14 other manufacturers has been independently confirmed to contain serious vulnerabilities. It has been discovered that hackers with physical control of select PCs can potentially access Windows account passwords. The vulnerability is found within multiple versions of fingerprint-reading software in the UPEK Protector Suite, which is marketed as a secure means of logging into Windows computers. 

In reality, the software actually makes Windows computers less secure compared to using a traditional password. When activated, the program stores Windows account passwords to the registry, however the encryption key is easy for hackers to retrieve and once acquired, it takes only seconds to decrypt the password. The UPEK Protector Suite was purchased by Authentec in 2010 and in July of this year Apple acquired Authentec for $356 million. The Cupertino-based company has yet to acknowledge the issue publicly.

[Via Ars Technica]


Dan joins the BGR team as the Android Editor, covering all things relating to Google’s premiere operating system. His work has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn’t testing the latest devices or apps, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.