Biometrics Vulnerability

This is something anyone who owns an iPhone or recent Android mobile device should be aware of. Biometrics such as fingerprint sensors are generally considered more secure than password protection, but they have a high potential for failure. It happened to me.

Last Monday, I found that Signal on my Android phone had locked up. I don’t know whether it was a malicious actor or, far more likely, a configuration/hardware glitch. But I was locked out and completely unable to access my messages or contacts without reinstalling. The issue is, biometrics sensors can break or be disabled. Repair is much more difficult than resetting a password.

Reprise

My only purpose in making this post tonight is to echo something I tweeted earlier in the day:

“Biometrics are really not a good idea for consumer mobile phones. Because if a component fails you can get locked out of everything, all too easily.”

More details coming tomorrow.