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iPhone 5S Thieves Could Chop Off Fingers To Hack Fingerprint Scanner, Says Expert

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CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10:  The new iPhone 5S with fingerprint technology is displayed during an Apple product announcement at the Apple campus on September 10, 2013 in Cupertino, California. The company launched the new iPhone 5C model that will run iOS 7 is made from hard-coated polycarbonate and comes in various colors and the iPhone 5S that features fingerprint recognition security.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: The new iPhone 5S with fingerprint technology is displayed during an Apple product announcement at the Apple campus on September 10, 2013 in Cupertino, California. The company launched the new iPhone 5C model that will run iOS 7 is made from hard-coated polycarbonate and comes in various colors and the iPhone 5S that features fingerprint recognition security. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Excited by the fingerprint scanner on the new iPhone? Well not to panic you, but one security has warned that whether or not the device can be hacked, owners of devices definitely can be.

Thieves have mutilated victims to gain access to phones equipped with a fingerprint reader, an expert has warned. By chopping off their fingers.

Marc Rogers, intelligence expert and current Principal Security Researcher at Lookout Mobile Security, said the sensors can provide a convenient way to unlock gadgets while also boosting security.

But they have led criminals to commit increasingly brutal robberies and even chop off phone-owners' fingertips, he said.

Fraudsters have also succeeded in lifting and duplicating prints with technology that "is only going to improve with time", he added.

"Thieves in some regions have worked out that you can force a victim to unlock a secured device, and in some extreme cases have also mutilated victims in order to steal their fingerprint."

The hi-tech scanners are said to work best when combined with a pin code or another security feature.

"Fingerprints can be a useful addition to security but their value depends highly on the type of fingerprint reader and how it is being used - for example, the best use of a fingerprint is to provide a convenient way to unlock something in a medium to low security scenario," Rogers said.

"Unlocking a device with a fingerprint, if done right, can be much more convenient than entering a pin code multiple times a day."

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