Research

Security Firm Creates Mask That Beats Face ID

Security Firm Creates Mask That Beats Face ID

With its new flagship iPhone X, Apple has touted just secure the device's Face ID technology is, and for the most part it's been a hit, with relatively few reports of the system not working properly or letting the wrong person unlock the phone. "The skin was also hand-made to trick Apple's Artificial Intelligence", Bkav said in a blog post. The tech giant says that while the facial recognition system is intended for convenience rather than absolute security, it's less vulnerable than its Touch ID predecessor - though testing has shown that the system generally works, but has a number of faults and unexpected behaviours. The mask was created by 3D-printing the face model and then using a special "skin" material that Face ID would recognize, while the eye portions are nothing more than 2D images.

"Potential targets shall not be regular users, but billionaires, leaders of major corporations, nation leaders, and agents like Federal Bureau of Investigation need to understand the Face ID's issue", the Bkav researchers write.

A security firm called Bkav says they have been able to defeat Face ID with the aid of a mask.

The company released a video, in which a company staff member pulls off a cloth from a face mask which is placed in front of the iPhone X. The phone instantly unlocks when the mask is placed in front of it.

Wired had also tried to fool the Face ID on the iPhone X using 3D face masks, but it did not succeed.

Either way, the mask method doesn't invalidate Face ID's utility for users willing to trade a little security for a little convenience.

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According to the firm, the recognition mechanism is not as strict as one thinks and Apple seems to rely too much on Face ID's AI. And to train iPhone X's neural network, the company even created a collection of masks.

We've reached out to Bkav for more information, and will update this post if we hear back.

"Potential targets shall not be regular users, but billionaires, leaders of major corporations, nation leaders and agents like Federal Bureau of Investigation need to understand the Face ID's issue".

While this proof of concept shows that something like this can work, it clear that this isn't a security risk for the average user.

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action.


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