"We hope this eliminates the remaining illusions that people have about biometric security," said Frank Rieger, a spokesman for Chaos Computing Club, or CCC, Germany's oldest and one of the world's largest hacker organisations.
"It is plain stupid to use something that you can't change and that you leave everywhere every day as a security token."
If the claim proves to be true, it will be a major embarrassment to Apple, which hyped the fingerprint sensor as one of the new model's most important changes from the old iPhone 5.
CCC said on its website that its biometrics hacking team had successfully bypassed iPhone 5s’ biometric security system, called TouchID, using "easy everyday means."
The group explained that it got around the system by using a high resolution photograph of a fingerprint, and posted a video on its website to show how it was done.
A CCC hacker using the nickname Starbug said: “Fingerprints should not be used to secure anything. You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints."