Apple Patent Shows Alternate Security Measures, Depicts Jailbroken iPhone
The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office published an application from Apple recently on the use of alternate methods for authenticating the user of an iPhone using stealthy techniques like recognition of fingerprints or even facial features. The document, titled “Embedded Authentication Systems in an Electronic Device”, also includes an unexpected representation of a jailbroken iPhone that has caused some controversy.
One method the document describes is the placement of a scanner behind the screen or elsewhere on the front of the device that would discretely scan the holder’s fingerprint or finger vein pattern. Another method would be to capture facial features of the user using a camera.
Other implementations include voice recognition, recognizing the shape of the user’s ear before starting a call, or even the collection of DNA samples to recognize the user’s genetic code. Further examples are the placing of fingers on the screen in a specific pattern, unique gestures, tapping a sequence, or matching shapes and colors of icons on a screen.
One of the more surprising finds in the document is an out of place depiction of a jailbroken iPhone showing a custom springboard (home screen) background, a custom settings icon, and even Installer.app and SMBPrefs. Engadget, who reported on the image, says that there was no reference to jailbreaking, or the use of jailbroken apps, anywhere else in the document but this image.